Any change to a type 1 diabetic's exercise nutrition plan takes a ton of practice and bit of patience. I'm awesome with the practice part; patience, not so much! For the past few weeks I have been attempting to start my work outs with a blood sugar around 160, rather than the 220 I had been aiming for the past couple years. The new target is for both performance and health. It's probably not healthy for me to intentionally spike my blood sugars into the 200s once a day to get in a workout. Also, spikes that high in blood sugar can really degrade performance. So in addition to trying to get my weight down to 175 this off season Coach E and I set a lower pre-workout blood sugar target as priority A.
My first big experiment with the new target is to take in insulin with my pre-workout food. Historically I had eaten a Clif Bar 30 to 45 minutes prior to exercising to spike my blood sugar for the start. If I was just munching on a Clif Bar as a snack I would take in 3 to 3.5 units of insulin (a carb ratio ranging between 1:11 and 1:15). Now I'm experimenting with taking in 1 to 2 units of insulin for the deliciousness that is a White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clif Bar. I'm then taking in some liquid nutrition right before the start of my workout so that my blood sugars don't plummet during the first 15 minutes of output. So far, so good.
The results have been pretty good thus far. I haven't yet tried any workouts longer than an hour with the new plan. The big workouts I've been doing over the past few weeks are a 5 mile trail run in the Ward's Pound Ridge Reserve (awesome park if you're in the Westchester area) and a 1,500 to 2,000 yard swim set. For the past 2 weeks I have been consistently starting my workouts with a blood sugar between 140 and 170 and ending with a blood sugar right around 90. I've noticed that this has helped my speed towards the end of my run but has really hurt my effort during the swim. I'm not convinced that my blood sugars will hold up during exercise of longer than an hour yet but this will be an iterative process with alot of trial and error.
Also, a huge shout out to Triabetes Captain Annie who broke 6 hours in her first Half Iron this past weekend!