AS you might expect by now, Laura Muir begins the year at full tilt. Since the end of her World Championships adventure in London last August, this 24-year-old has been working, running, sleeping with little else between. It has been just as exhausting for her coach, Andy Young.

, who, in his own words, he has “spreadsheets all over the place”.

Only eight days after London, Muir embarked on a rotation of extended work placements as she completes the final year of her training at the Glasgow vet school. This was proper work, on farms or in the animal hospital, in shifts starting as early as 6am or finishing in the early hours of the morning. It wasn’t until December 8 that she permitted herself a half day to fly straight out to two weeks of warm weather training near Johannesburg.

It was back all too soon to the snow of Scotland on Christmas Eve but that didn’t mean it wasn’t worthwhile.

“That first week I was away I was getting messages from guys saying they couldn’t find a track that was open, they were all iced over,” says Young. “So it was a good time to escape!”

The serious work towards what promises to be another hectic year for this incredible Scottish sporting success story gets under way today. Her first competitive outing of a season which won’t include April’s Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, is today’s Scottish 3000m championships at the GAA Miler Meet.

While there will be no repeat of last year, where she claimed Liz McColgan’s 5000m indoor record at this event, this time it is an outing which will see her battle a male field, including her training partner, GB cross-country international Sol Sweeney.

“I’m not sure if she has ever really run against the men before,” said Young. “I’m sure she probably will have, though there is nothing that springs to mind. But she obviously trains with the guys all the time so it is not unusual for her to be on the track with guys racing in front of her and guys behind – although there are not usually that many in front of her these days!

“I know Sol Sweeney is running it so he is in good shape. He is running well and is ahead of her at training. Him and one or two of the other boys in that last lap or so I would expect to put the pace up and pull away from her. But she is running very well in training so there is a good chance without it being a pressure fuelled race or a huge deal of expectation a chance for her to go out and relax and run a good time.”

From there – for both Muir and Sweeney - it is off to Holyrood Park in Edinburgh for another fun diversion to start the season, the mixed 4x1km relay at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country event. In a low key main field, the relay event promises to hog plenty of the headlines, with Muir – who captained a Great Britain four to victory last year in a final leg which saw her battle another training partner Jemma Reekie – taking on two Scotland teams. Sweeney and Jamie Williamson, the son of 80s star Gordon Williamson, will line up for Scotland B, with Jake Wightman and Steph Twell in the Scotland A squad.

“I am sure Laura will be back in a Scotland vest sooner or later, but it gives the crowd someone else to shout for!” said Young. “Laura’s team plus the two Scotland teams! We’ve done the Edinburgh cross-country now for so many years, and I know she is going to get to compete in Glasgow a few more times this year as she can’t travel because she is doing so much study. But to go out in front of a home crowd is always great for her and the crowds are just getting bigger and bigger. Last year it was huge and the relay format last year was great, quite exciting, it is always something for her to enjoy.”

The real focus for the year, though, is the world indoors, in Birmingham in early March, even though Young is already fretting about ensuring his charge avoids picking up cold or flu symptoms at the wrong moment.

"It is always a worry because there are so many infections going about at this time of the year, that all it would take for her to catch the flu in the middle of February and your indoor season is basically over. It is harder to plan with the same certainty than you can for the outdoors but all being well that would be the big one. Then there is another thing that makes it so much more difficult - the fact she will be working right up to it, maybe even the day before. Then flying right down the day before the race.”