Attempting "2 in 2"

Training over the last month has been really consistent, getting in some solid miles across the board. Whilst there have been a number of memorable sessions, the highlight from recent weeks has been the weekly long run, which has peaked at 2h20m. Each week the structure of the run differs depending on the goal for the session – it's not simply a case of going out and running a constant pace. The average pace of these sessions has gradually improved, with this morning's run covering 23.5 miles at an average pace of 5:58/mile (3:42/km), which equates to 2:36 marathon pace. In short, I feel ready to race...

...which is just as well, because in just three and a half weeks the 2014 season will finally get underway at Challenge Taiwan! Many of you know that the first race of the season was scheduled to be Ironman Australia on 4th May, and that's still on the calendar. So for the first time I'll be attempting two long distance events in just two weeks. The closest I've previously raced two Ironman distance events was in 2011, racing Western Australia 8 weeks after Hawaii. Last season I did two middle distance events (Ironman 70.3 UK and the Boskman triathlon) one week apart - which worked well – but racing over double the distance will be a different task entirely.

There's a multitude of things that can go wrong in long distance triathlon racing, such as pre-race sickness, injuries on the swim, mechanical issues on the bike, GI issues... the list goes on. Traveling 7,500 miles to Australia for one race really would be putting all my eggs in one basket. A quick detour via Taiwan gives me another opportunity to race. The question is whether a good race in Taiwan will inhibit my chances of a good race in Australia. Logic would suggest so, but in the same breath, there's a number of athletes who have successfully backed up races. I really don't know what to expect when it comes to recovering from one race and preparing for another just 15 days later, but there's only one way to find out.