THE re-routed road to Tokyo will pass through Monaco on Friday night.

There Laura Muir will form part of a strong Diamond League 1000m field, all striving to make up for lost time following a disruptive year that has seen the original date for the Olympics pushed back 12 months.

Muir emerged from her lockdown cocoon to make her first competitive appearance of the season in Trieste at the start of the month, something the European 1500m champion describes as a “surreal” but welcome experience.

She will follow that outing by testing herself against a tough field in Monaco including Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, world champion Halimah Nakaaayi and Muir's friend and former housemate, Jemma Reekie, who pipped her to the line in Trieste.

Muir is just grateful to be back doing what she loves. “It was good but a bit surreal to be back out racing in 2020 as we didn’t know if that was going to happen or not,” she admitted.

“I didn’t really know how to feel. I was warming up and I couldn’t really remember [what it was like]. It was a strange thought that I had been racing just six months ago as it seemed an awful lot longer. A lot has changed in these last few months. But it was good just to be back out there and to run well. I’m just excited now to get the next few races in.

“Monaco is always a really high calibre competition. Normally this would be a high-priority race anyway and now that there’s not that many going around it’s even bigger. It’s nice to get back out there racing against a tough field.”

How the rest of her winter programme will shape up is very much up in the air and dependent on the vagaries of the pandemic, although the fact the Olympics will still take place in July and August does make life slightly easier.

“It’s a little bit hard to plan ahead as different restrictions are coming into different countries at different times,” added the 27 year-old.

“It’s very unpredictable so we’re trying not to look too far ahead. We’ve got a few smaller European meets pencilled in and hopefully we’ll be able to go to them and take it from there.

“We’re lucky in a sense that the Olympics are going to be held almost exactly one year on from the original date. So we’ll essentially take a large part of the plan that we had for this year and just shift it back a year.

“That does make things a little bit easier than if it had been a spring or autumn Games. But we are going to have to be flexible as we don’t know how things are going to evolve these next few months in terms of what training camps will be available and what competitions will go ahead.

"Ideally we would go away to a couple of camps over winter but it will just depend on where we’re able to go and the health and safety of the team. We just need to take it week by week.”

Reekie has been a constant companion over the last few months, moving both herself and dog Dollie into Muir’s home to allow them to train together during lockdown.

“We’ve done a lot of living and travelling together, especially these last few months,” added Muir. “It’s been really lovely to have her there as we’re really good friends. She’s doing the 1K too in Monaco so no doubt we’ll have another good battle in that one.

“Having her with me has been really good during lockdown. It just meant that if one of us was feeling down the other one could pick them up. We’ve been able to get each other through it and came through lockdown in a much better position than if we had been by ourselves.”

The pair – and Paralympian Lauren Steadman – are lending their support to Wagletics, a campaign launched by YuMOVE to get the nation’s dogs and their owners fit and active. Qualified vet Muir is happy to be a part of it.

“We’re going to be posting various videos on our social channels and doing lots of fun exercises for different breeds of dogs that people can do with their pets in their garden or in a park,” she explained.

“And it’s to help keep their owners physically and mentally active, too. So it will benefit everyone. Jemma’s chihuahua Dollie was living with us during lockdown and it was a lot of fun to have her to exercise and play with.”

Laura Muir was speaking on behalf of YuMOVE's Wagletics - a campaign that promotes good exercise practice for dogs. Search #YuMOVEWagletics on social media.