There is nothing quite like the dynamic between a coach and their athlete.

Elite sport, with all its intricacies, is a world that, is almost impossible to fully understand for those on the periphery. The constant pressure, the stress and the intensity are not necessarily the hardest life, but it’s a career unlike any other.

It is why, so often, coaches and athletes become exceptionally close; they are both immersed in this world that, to outsiders, can appear much easier than it really is.

Laura Muir and Andy Young are a pair who seemed to have that extremely tight athlete-coach relationship.

In the aftermath of the Scot’s plethora of medal-winning runs over the past decade, not an interview went by without the mention of Young. Muir has always been quick to credit her long-term coach for her success, which has seen her win Olympic silver, World bronze, European gold, Commonwealth gold and European Indoor gold in the space of just 19 months.

Which is why the news that the pair have split has come as such a shock.

Muir, and her long-time friend and training partner, Jemma Reekie, have quit their training camp in South Africa to return to the UK, leaving Young behind.

It is unclear what has gone on. While Muir has not yet commented, Young’s cryptic response was that: “There was no bust-up. I think you would find the girls were worried about my health if you spoke to them. They felt I wasn’t looking after myself properly, maybe thought pressure was getting to me. I’d say they were reading too much into it.”

While Young’s comments fail to shed any light on what has transpired, a more important question is where does Muir go from here?

She has worked with Young since 2011 and in those years, she has gone from little more than a decent runner to consistently one of the best middle distance runners in the world, cementing herself as one of Scotland’s greatest-ever track and field runners.

While I’m always reluctant to attribute most of the credit for any success to anyone other than the athlete, it is ridiculous to suggest Young didn’t play an extremely significant part, probably the most significant outwith Muir herself, in her rise.

And now, their relationship is over.

It would be folly to suggest this is automatically a negative development for Muir, though.

There is, unquestionably, a place for stability and longevity when it comes to an athlete-coach relationship. Athletes and coaches who have been together for a considerable length of time almost always have an understanding and a bond that cannot be fast tracked.

To go through the ups and downs together that Muir and Young have experienced will have been much of the reason for them being so close.

Another benefit of a long-term relationship between a coach and an athlete is the stability and security that comes with it.

The example of Emma Raducanu who, since her US Open win 18 months ago, has changed her tennis coach seemingly every 10 minutes is, clearly, hugely detrimental.

Constant change means there is no consistency with what is being worked on, no bigger-picture goals when it comes to improvement and little time to implement strategies for medium or long-term progress.

So while constant chopping and changing is almost always damaging to an athlete’s career, an occasional switch can be an extremely useful tool at an elite athlete’s disposal.

After 12 years together, Young would know exactly how to manage Muir during both the good times and bad. But it’s hard to suggest that a change of coach for the runner, as seems to be what will transpire, would not bring with it at least some benefits.

Yes, the Paris Olympics are only 15 months away, and the time will pass quickly, but to suggest they are worryingly close is wrong.

Muir is both experienced and intelligent, so she will not be oblivious about what she needs to do to be at her best for the Games next year. Or even, in the shorter term, at the World Championships in August.

Arguments between athletes and coaches are not only common, they can be beneficial.

I’ve long been a fan of an athlete feeling able to disagree and challenge their coach because the best way forward is almost always discovered through conversation and collaboration. So a falling out, should not necessarily be viewed negatively.

But what Muir will be acutely aware of is that she does not have much time to waste in terms of the remainder of her career. She turns 30 next month and likely has one or, at best, two Olympic Games left in her.

She must make a decisive and swift decision about what direction she, and she alone, wants her career to go from here.

And never forget, the most important person when it comes to winning medals is the athlete. If Muir gets it right, it won’t matter who her coach is.