Laura Muir has revealed her emotional journey to Budapest taught her “happiness is the secret to everything” following her split from long-term coach Andy Young.
After 12 years working together, the 30-year-old, along with Jemma Reekie, parted ways with Young in March.
It set Muir, who won Olympic 1500m silver in Tokyo, on a voyage of self-discovery ahead of the World Championships, which get under way on Saturday in Hungary.
She is looking to build on the bronze she collected at last year’s edition in Eugene – although Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon is the overwhelming favourite – and has been named Great Britain’s captain.
Being handed the armband has capped a recovery from a turbulent few months and Muir reckons she now knows herself much better.
“Probably, in the last six months, I’ve learned the most about myself that I have in my entire life,” she said. It’s been a rollercoaster but we’re at a high point now and I’m very happy with where I’m at.
“I’ve learned a lot, a lot that will do me a lot of good going forward, not just for my running career, but I think in my life as well. So I’m very happy for that.
“Happiness is the secret to everything, I think. If you’re a happy person, you’ll be a successful person. Just be happy. It sounds simple but it’s so important.
“Considering how difficult this year has been, I’d be over the moon no matter what colour (medal). Obviously, I’m going to the championships ready to go and I want to win a medal. That’s definitely where my aspirations are.
“I’m so lucky to have the support I’ve had and being in this place as well sets me up to actually perform so much better at the championships too.”
Muir is now training under Steve Vernon, UK Athletics’ World Class Programme endurance performance manager, and other UKA staff.
She begins her quest for gold at the National Athletics Centre in the heats on Saturday, along with team-mates Melissa Courtney-Bryant and Katie Snowden, who shocked Muir by beating her at the British Championships in July.
Yet the five-time 1500m European champion, who also won Commonwealth gold in Birmingham last year, is ready for Budapest and feels she has won a battle just making it to the start line.
“I think about the championships before and how stressed and miserable I was and still I was able to produce. Regardless of how these championships go, it’s going to be a win,” said Muir, who has not spoken to Young for several months.
“It’s definitely going to be difficult. It’s going to be the first time to have different circumstances since I started my career, since the European Indoor Championships in 2013.
“Andy was there for every championship, so it’s going to feel different but I’m excited for what I can do and, regardless of what the outcome is, the focus is on doing well.
“When I left Andy, I didn’t have a plan going forward but I knew just any situation was better than the situation I was in.
“I was just happy to be out of that but I didn’t want to jump into anything straightaway because it’s a massive decision, having been with my previous coach for 12 years.
“So I wanted to make sure that that decision was right, going forward. But Steve, with his role, he was overseeing things for me and I just knew we just clicked. It just really, really worked and I was very happy working with him.
“I asked if he could be my coach and I had to work through a few things the past two, three weeks.
“We’ve been working really well together and I’m really, really happy that he’s wanted to do it. That’s been a massive help.”