Faith Kipyegon's track rival opens up on challenging 2023 and bouncing back next season

ATHLETICS Faith Kipyegon's track rival opens up on challenging 2023 and bouncing back next season

Abigael Wafula 09:04 - 25.12.2023

Faith Kipyegon's track rival, Laura Muir, has candidly spoken about her 2023 season's major setbacks and plans on bouncing back in the Olympic season.

Faith Kipyegon’s track rival Laura Muir has opened up on the challenges she faced this season and how she is planning to bounce back in the Olympic season.

Everything seemed well for Muir earlier this year when she won her career third European indoor 1500m title but unfortunately, by the end of that month, she had split with long-time coach and mentor Andy Young.

After the split, Muir initially opted to look after herself but it was not an easy decision since she had a lot of emotional turmoil and trying to have everything figured out.

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“I knew what I had done before worked, so changing that was quite stressful. Then looking after myself for that first two, three months was really, really hard – not necessarily in terms of running but just everything round about that.

“You’re going to a race thinking: ‘I don’t know where I’m living next week’. There were a lot of things going on. Also, with 1500m there are a lot of tactics involved in the race. Not only do you have to physically be in a really good spot but mentally you’ve got to have all those plans up your sleeve,” she said as per Athletics Weekly.

She added that she was forced to be able to react quickly and adjust her race plan. She added how it was a struggle for her to think yet she was not in the thinking space sometimes. It was tricky for her but she recounts being able to get from one place to another in one piece.

Due to the challenges she was facing, Muir sadly finished sixth in the 1500m at the World Championships in Budapest.

However, she shook off the disappointment with an 800m victory in the Weltklasse, a 1500m win at the Brussels Diamond League, and then signed off with third place in Eugene where she clocked 3:55.16, the second-fastest time of her career over the distance.

“It’s really exciting to know that I can run that time but there are all these areas I can improve on. I’m looking forward to tackling a few of them over the winter and hopefully being a lot stronger for next year,” she said.

The Briton has already begun work and she will be based in Loughborough until Christmas before a New Year training stint in Potchefstroom that will lead into an enticing indoor season that culminates in a chance to shine over 3000m in front a home crowd at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow.

“My success is me. That’s a big thing. I think a lot of the time I felt like I needed lots of other things. And then actually when you strip it down… I’d be going to races by myself and I’d win and I’m like: ‘Oh, okay, that was me!’

“Also, just knowing what I’m capable of. Some of the things that I’ve done in training this year, I’ve never had the opportunity to do before and I’ve really shocked myself like: ‘Wow, I can do that’.

“So I think it’s just having that confidence in myself that I am successful because of the athlete that I am. That’s been a big, big thing, just self-confidence really, and not having to rely on somebody else.

“I know that I can do it and, given the right support structure, then I can go and perform a lot better,” she said.