Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Time To Taper

After 3 consecutive 20 hour training weeks it is time to taper for the Mooseman 1/2 Ironman I'm competing in this weekend. For most triathletes the taper brings about restlessness and unease as they transition from workout out 4 to 5 hours a day to at most an hour and 1/2 a day. The extra energy normally contributes to the pre-race jitters and neurosis but at least provides fresh legs on race day. But for a diabetic, the taper week brings about a whole different level of worries. It is essential to match carbohydrate intake to the reduced workload. If I increase the amount of my bolus or basal insulin too much to compensate for the reduced activity load my muscles won't recover to the level they are supposed to. However, if I keep the ratios I have for a 20 hour exercise week I'll most likely run high blood sugars all week which will reduce the effectiveness of the taper.

To make this transition a bit easier, Coach Egg and I have decided to ease into the taper period. For the first 3 days of the week 70% of my week's prescribed exercise will be completed. Coach Egg also gave me a killer weekend to ensure that I got in as much work as possible without totally burning out my legs for Mooseman. Yesterday I had mixed results shortly after lunch my blood sugar was in the high 200s but after dinner my blood sugar plummeted to 42. This week I'm going to try and eat foods that I know the carbohydrate content of so I'll be cooking most of my meals this week. I even plan on being a huge tri-dork and bringing my own food to the pre-race pasta dinner on Saturday night! In this sport you try and limit the unknowns as much as possible and since this is my first real taper week I'll be learning a whole new part of the game.

4 comments:

The Grand Master Crackhead said...

You know it's interesting that you talk about needing to be careful during your taper because you are diabetic, but honestly non-diabetics could learn a thing from you. Like you can't keep eating the way you were eating when you were training a lot more. Like that you still need quality carbs to keep your muscles fully stocked. Like you need to keep your insulin levels steady so you don't go nuts.

Thanks for the reminders for when I do my next taper!

LG said...

Wait...so if you bring your own food it makes you a tri-dork?? Well then I am the Tri-Dork Queen! (actually I prefer to think of us as the smart ones!)Enjoy the rest of the week...sleep, sleep, sleep!

PJ said...

Just when you think you get it figured out (sort of)...TAPER! My sugars have been bouncing around a bit this week too. I actually don't have my race day insulin strategy nailed down yet either. Happy happy, joy joy!

I'll be bringing my own food as well (being celiac, I really don't have a choice in that) so you won't be the only one.

Enjoy being squirelly for the rest of the week!

Rob Matterson said...

hey wingman, i read your blog all the time and love hearing about how you are trying to control your diabetes.

today i saw this film on raw foods and thought you might like to see it, it talks a lot about diabetes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynXGA6fCEgU

did you know you can even get your blood sugar down to normal levels with a raw diet? not sure how well that would work with your training program, though.

keep trying to be healthy, wingman!