Stuart Weir sent this interview to RunBlogRun a couple of weeks ago. Laura Muir is training with Andy Young, her coach and Jemma Reekie in South Africa until the end of the month. We enjoyed this nine questions immensely. Stuart Weir knows how to ask the questions that we all want answers to about Laura Muir, who competed in 3 outdoor champs and took 4 medals. What will happen in 2023?
Nine questions to Laura Muir
Gudaf Tsegay, Faith Kipyegon, Laura Muir, photo by World Athletics
RBR #1, What happened in the Diamond League final in Zurich?
Laura Muir: I think the end of the season was a bit hit-and-miss. Brussels went well running 3:56.86. And then Zurich was a wee bit of a funny race. It was a lot slower than we all envisaged that it would be. I was where I needed to be but just when there was that sudden change of pace I didn’t have it in my legs, that sudden change of pace with about 300 to go. Had it been a faster race I might have done OK but by that point, in the season I didn’t have the change of pace. [4:02.31]. But then I bounced back really well for New York. It is a bit hit-and-miss at the end of the season but at least I got the main job done at the championships.
Laura Muir, photo by Kevin Morris
RBR #2, But you managed to win the NY Mile three days after Zurich? [4:15]
Laura Muir: I enjoyed New York. I’ve only raced it once before, back in 2016. It didn’t work out for me to finish my season there in any of the recent years. I was second to Jenny Simpson in 2016 – which I think a lot of people have been. Jenny is the queen of that race. It was really nice to go back and win it. It was a race that was on my list that I wanted to win because it’s such an iconic race. I was delighted with that and the time. The time was pretty surprising given how tired the body was. So it was a really nice way to finish the season.
RBR #3, Do you prefer paced races or “championship style”?
Laura Muir, just after the 800m finish, waiting to hear if she won the bronze! Bobby Gavin/Scottish Athletics
Laura Muir: I think I like both for different reasons. If you know you are running well, and you’re fit and you want to run fast, then it’s nice to have a fast race and you can see where you are at. Sometimes it can be frustrating if you’re ready to run fast but the race is slow and tactical and the time doesn’t show where you’re at. At the same time tactical races, especially when they are for medals, can be very exciting. That you don’t know how the race is going to go makes it more exciting. It depends on what you are wanting to get out of a race, whether a fast time or just to race and win. Sometimes I like to win a race when you can disregard times. Sometimes you want a time and sometimes you want the win more than the time. As long as you try to finish as high up in the race as possible, even if it’s slow and you win, you still won. But at the same time as always nice to run fast. A bit of both!
RBR #4, 2022 was a great year for Scotland. How aware of that were you?
Laura Muir and Jake Wightman, the winners of the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile, photo by Kevin Morris
Laura Muir: We’re on the team together and before Oregon, we were in Colorado and trained together, a little Scottish club before worlds! I know Jake and Eilish very well and several of the other Scots too. We are really good friends and it was lovely to see them doing well. I follow their progress in races a lot even when I’m not there and tune in to watch their races. We support each other and we’re good friends as well as teammates. This is really nice to see and I think in both Jake and Eilish’s case, they both been around for a number of years and had their breakthrough season this year. They deserved it for a while so that was really nice to see.
RBR #5: What ambitions have you left?
Laura Muir being interviewed after her gold by Euan Thomas, photo by Scottish Athletics
Laura Muir: It’s funny, I was thinking about this the other day. When I first started making GB teams, I wanted to run in all six championships. Then the next thing was getting to the final of all six championships, and I did that. And then with medals at the World [outdoors] and Commonwealth this year, I have now got medals at all six. And the only other step is to get gold medals at all championships. That’s the only place I can go. I’ve won the Commonwealth and European indoors and outdoors and I got silver in the Olympics and World Indoors and bronze in the World Outdoors. That means I have a silver and a bronze to try to improve to gold. If I could do that would be crazy.
Otherwise just to run faster, to get my times faster. I am very happy with where my times are now but if I could get them faster that would be great. So to try to get more medals and improve the colors of the medals! I’m now in the very fortunate position of having done a lot of things. I have accomplished more than I’ve ever dreamed of. It’s just still trying to get that little bit better.
RBR #6, What are your plans for 2023? Will you do an Indoor season?
Laura Muir takes the 2018 European Outdoors, photo by European Athletics
Laura Muir: I hope so. We’ll have to see where we’re at. I think we’re going to use next year as a big year ahead of Paris. It’ll be nice to have a more relaxed year in comparison of this year. The World Champs will be the biggest focus. It’s nice that it’s in August so there’s lots of time before that. That is a priority so we just do whatever is best for me, to get me to my best for worlds. We will try one or two different things because we’ve had lots of time to train and lots of time to try different races. We often tend to take things as it comes but I do like to race indoors so I hope I can. But it depends on where I am at the time of year and how it fits in with what we want to achieve at the worlds. It’s a nice year to have with everything well-spaced out and lots of time. With the World Championships in Europe, it’s logistically a lot easier to get that consistency of training in.
RBR #7, Is Faith Kipyegon the best ever?
Laura Muir, Faith Kipyegon, 2020 Tokyo Olympics, photo by Stuart Weir
Laura Muir: I think she’s the best ever. But not just women, the best overall. I can’t recall anyone else who has won back-to-back Olympic cycles with a five-year break and having a child. Winning two World Championships, Commonwealth Games medaling at other championships. She was the junior champion. So she’s been there, done it. She was so so close to the world record and it will come. When she gets that, it will be the whole set.
RBR #8, Where are you doing winter training?
Stuart Weir interviews Laura Muir, WC Eugene 2022, photo from Stuart Weir collection
Laura Muir: We were in South Africa for about a month before Christmas, then home for Christmas, and then back out in January.
RBR #9, Jemma Reekie tells a story about you on a training run, when there was a snail on the track and you stopped and moved it off the track before continuing the run. Is that a true story?
Laura Muir, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
Basically true! I think we were on a jog recovery. We had done the rep and were doing the jog recovery. And there was a snail in the middle of lane one and I just had to place it into a different lane and because it was smack bang in the middle of lane one!