There is no doubt that in early February, runners rule in Tarawera. Renowned as one of the most competitive and international ultra trail races in the world, Laragh McCabe, well known for setting and achieving big goals, decided that it would be the perfect spot to take on her first ever 100km race. What better way to attack such a daunting task, than to employ one of the best in the trail world business, run2pb coach, Steph Austin. Read on to find out how Laragh went and what helped her achieve such an amazing result!
How long you have been running and what do you love about running?
I did my first parkrun in Nov 2018. That's when I fully committed to training and when running became a way of life, and it all escalated pretty quickly from there. I love the freedom, joy and peace I feel when I run. I love the high you get after each run. I love the running community, its something pretty special.
How did the Tarawera 102km Ultra pan out? What did you find the toughest?
My Tarawera race plan went pretty well. Overall I was really happy with the result. Nutrition was probably the toughest, because of some food intolerance's I couldn't eat much at the aid stations, I knew this going in but wasn't as prepared as I should have been. And didn't utilise my drop bags to the best of my ability. But it was a great lesson to learn as well. And it showed me what my body is capable of achieving.
Is there anything you changed in the lead up to this race, which you think assisted in your improvement?
When I started training with run2pb coach, Steph Austin, I'd moved from focusing on mileage to focusing on time on feet which I think was a game changer for me, especially when you are doing these longer races and it all comes down to endurance and time on feet. This was also a huge boost to my confidence as I went from falling short on training runs to feeling really successful on training runs now.
Also, power hiking. This was something new that was incorporated into my training and was really a life saver for those tougher and slower sections of Tarawera. As this focused on my slowest KMs, this was a game changer as my slowest KMs in a race have gotten a lot faster. 😀
Was there any specific sessions that you reflect on in the build up, which gave you confidence going into the race?
I can't think of one specific session in this training block. But overall this training block was the really enjoyable. I had a lot of fun with each session. There was some really challenging sessions, that I think really helped me physically and mentally prepare for Tarawera and really helped with my performance on the day.
How did you manage to the combine work, family and life with all the training? Did having an online coach assist you in any way around managing your time?
I am very lucky in my role with work that I can plan my entire job around my running lifestyle. I primarily work from home and set my own hours. So I use this to my advantage to with my training. My workplace also prides itself on workplace flexibility and is proud that we have the ability to do our jobs like this.
Having a coach, takes the pressure off me trying to plan out my sessions. And also takes my training to the next level and pushes me out of my comfort zone. Which is something I really appreciate.
How has Run2PB assisted your training? Have you targeted any other racing goals?
Steph has really helped take my training to the next level and changed a lot of my mindset about my training. Some specific goals we targeted were, power hiking,working on increasing speed on my slowest KM, working on time on feet. As most of my race goals are Ultras.
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