Laura Muir has revealed she finally feels like she belongs at the highest level as she announced her intention to continue her assault on the British record books by breaking Zola Budd’s national mile best.
Muir claimed five all-time British records ranging from 1,000m to 5,000m in the space of six months before concluding her recent indoor season with an historic double European Indoor gold-medal haul.
That performance in Belgrade, Serbia, marked her out as a firm candidate for two medals at this summer’s World Championships in London and she hopes to gear up four weeks beforehand at the Muller Anniversary Games by claiming the mile record currently held by Budd, who was famous for running without shoes.
“Zola Budd is definitely one of the icons of British distance running,” said Muir. “I know she’s got a very quick time so if I were to break hers, it would be great.
“I’m not sure I’m quite up for running barefoot though. My lucky spikes are doing well so far so I think I’ll keep them on.
“All my records have come with the same spikes. I wore them for the first time at the Rio Olympics and they are doing pretty well.”
Muir’s performance in Belgrade meant she became only the second British athlete to win two European indoor golds at the same championships, boosting her status within - and outside - the sport.
“People knew who I was on the bus and the train [when I got home]. It was lovely,” she said. “I think everybody recognised what a big success it was for me.
“It's been strange. Before I was only recognised at athletics meets but I’m noticing it more in day-to-day life.”
Attempting to juggle her veterinary degree with her running career, Muir has divided her time between work placements and training camps since returning home with those gold medals.
Preparing to celebrate her 24th birthday next week - “it is a Tuesday so that means double circuits” - her studies will now take a back seat for the summer as she looks to win a first world medal of her career.
“If you’d asked me a couple of years ago, I probably would have been quite worried,” she said. “There was pressure and I didn’t deal with it very well. I got very nervous.
“Now I just take it and I see pressure more as support and I think it will be fine in the lead-up to London.
“It’s great having that confidence on the start line and knowing this is where I belong.”
For tickets to see the world’s best athletes at the Müller Anniversary Games go to www.britishathletics.org.uk