Laura Muir has been feeling the benefit of having training partner Jemma Reekie as a temporary housemate during lockdown as the pair build up to next summer’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.
The two Scottish middle-distance runners, who train alongside each other under coach Andy Young, were able to work together during the last few months after Reekie moved into Muir’s Glasgow home.
Reigning European 1500 metres champion Muir told the PA news agency: “It was quite natural because we are away on training camps a lot together anyway.
“That’s why she moved in, because we knew we’d train really well together and motivate each other.
“We trained really well together during lockdown which has been great, and I hope that means we can race well over these next couple of months.”
Following March’s confirmation of the postponement of the Olympics, the Games are now set to begin in July next year.
Muir, who finished seventh in the 1500m final at Rio 2016, came fifth at the World Championships in Doha last October after battling injury and illness in the build-up.
Asked about her confidence of bridging the gap to make the podium in Tokyo, the 27-year-old said: “I hope so. I was fifth with a really disrupted build-up to the World Championships last year, so all going well, if I am 100 per cent going into the Olympics, then I’d love to get on the podium, that’s the target.”
Both Muir and Reekie are set to race in the Monaco Diamond League meeting on August 14, having last weekend been in action in Trieste, where the latter finished 0.02 seconds ahead of the former as she won the 800m.
Rising star Reekie, 22, claimed 800m and 1500m gold at the European Under-23 Championships in 2019 and then in February posted British indoor record times for both distances as well as the mile – the 1500m and mile efforts seeing her better marks set my Muir.
Regarding the Olympics then being postponed, Reekie said: “Obviously there was some disappointment, but when I look back, I thought, ‘Think of all the positives’.
“And I just thought I’m going to push on even more this year to make sure I’m even more prepared.
“I’ll just use it as a bonus year to work as hard as I can until next year, and I’ve made leaps and bound in training these past few months.”
Reekie was not the only one to move in with Muir – she brought along her dog Dollie.
The athletes enjoyed ensuring their canine companion, a Chihuahua cross, was also exercised and healthy, and Muir and Reekie are now part of a campaign, in the wake of rising dog ownership during the coronavirus pandemic, designed to help people keep their dogs active.
Lauren Steadman, who won silver in the para-triathlon at the Rio Paralympics and owner of German Shepherd Meric Belle, is also involved in the campaign launched by dog joint supplement producers YuMOVE, which will see the athletes post exercise routines for dogs on social media.
All the exercises have been created by Muir, who is a fully-qualified vet.
“This campaign was a perfect fit really because my two passions are sport and animals,” Muir said.
“Having that mobility and keeping your pet fit and active as well as yourself is so important.”
:: Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie were speaking on behalf of YuMOVE’s Wagletics campaign. Search for #YuMOVEWagletics and visit https://yumove.co.uk/