Sunday, February 8, 2009

Saving A Training Run

With 40 to 50 miles already logged in February, Marathon Training is in full swing! Yesterday, it was about 65 degrees in Charlottesville which was a huge temperature change from the 30 degree run I had last week. With the sudden change in temperature I had to adapt my nutrition plan to ensure safe blood sugars for my run.

The sudden increase in temperature had some buds forming on trees so my allergies were killing me from the moment I woke up. I had to find batteries for my polar stride sensor prior to my run, apparently a size 2430 battery is the least popular battery known to man as it took me about an hour to finally find a store that carried them; thank you Batteries Plus! Finally at Ridge Rd. about an hour later than I had hopped my blood sugar spiked to 323 (I had my usual clif bar and nutrition an hour before I was supposed to run – that turned into 2 hours). Knowing that 323 was too high of a blood sugar to start with, I took in .5 units of insulin and headed out for my run.

2.5 miles into my run my blood sugar had already dropped to 171 and I knew a blood sugar low was right around the corner. In adjusting for my high blood sugar I neglected to consider the high temps and what that would do to my metabolic rate. With the higher temperature my normally high sweat rate becomes well disgusting, this causes my body to burn glucose at a higher rate thus increasing my need for carbohydrates. Since my body hasn't yet adjusted to spring temperatures my nutrition needs were that much more.

At 171 I decided to take in the rest of my first nutrition bottle about 25 minutes early; 2.5 miles later my blood sugar was down to 131. At that point I decided to pound my entire second nutrition bottle and second water bottle – each was supposed to last me 45 minutes to an hour. I knew that by taking in 80 grams of carbohydrates and slowing my training pace from 9:15 to 9:45 minutes per mile (for 1.5 miles) I'd be able to spike my blood sugar high enough to run the last 5 miles to my car to get in enough nutrition to finish up the last 2 miles.

The strategy worked perfectly, when I reached my car my blood sugar was 121, better yet my fresher legs allowed me to run my last 2 miles at an 8:30 pace. No matter how much I train, every experience brings about a new blood sugar management lesson!

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