Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Juggling Act Is No Problem for Muir. She Takes It in Her Stride; Trainee Vet Thrives on Twin Challenge as She Doubles Up at World Indoor Championships

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Juggling Act Is No Problem for Muir. She Takes It in Her Stride; Trainee Vet Thrives on Twin Challenge as She Doubles Up at World Indoor Championships

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Majendie Sports Correspondent

ASK any elite athlete how they get away from the stress of competition and it's unlikely many will say by neutering cats and dogs.

Yet, that's how Laura Muir takes her mind off the worry of negating the dual track threat of Ethiopians and Kenyans in major championships.

Her life as a trainee vet at Glasgow University runs in parallel with her athletics career and the 24-year-old believes they complement one another perfectly.

"The vet stuff helps let off the pressure of athletics in a way," she explains on the eve of the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, where tonight she will run in the 3,000m.

"It can be a stressful career as a vet and I've been doing operations, like neutering cats and dogs. I still find that nerve wracking but you get more confident as you get more experience."

The same can be said with the athletics track, her training for which she has to fit around her studies. She is in her last year at university and sits her finals in mid-May.

"It's a balancing act but I've got pretty used to juggling stuff," she says. "Those days when you're working 10 to 12-hour days and then you still need to do your training can be very stressful.

"It's double-high pressure, whether that's operating on animals or lining up on the start line for an Olympic or World Championship final. But they can help each other."

She seems to be taking it all in her stride, her form is such that she has already set the fastest time for the 800m this season for what was a Scottish record.

The ultimate juggler, Muir thrives on 'doubling up', be it athletics and work or in terms of distances at a major championships. However, she admits: "When my finals are finished, it will be nice to focus on just my athletics until September. But I still want to do veterinary work and, hopefully, fit that around my schedule."

She also plans to run in the 1,500m in Birmingham on Saturday and, as for doubling up on the track, she adds: "I love doing that and I don't see that changing. …

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