Having crashed badly during my last Ironman 70.3 event 4 weeks ago I have been focusing on my recovery which has been going really well but has meant very little physical activity. As all diabetics would know this means that I’ve needed to adjust my insulin regime, increasing my insulin doses and also reducing how much I am eating on account of being inactive. Now that I am 50% of the way to a full recovery I am starting to get back into training which means that I also need to adjust my insulin regime again to allow me to train (without hypo-ing).
I find this really challenging and super frustrating as I try to balance enough insulin to keep my blood sugar levels within a good range but also not too much insulin that I end up going low during my training sessions. Training in the morning and the afternoon means that I am trying to get this right twice a day. The training also impacts how my blood sugar levels track during the day and overnight which then means further changes to my basal insulin pattern.
Over the last week I have been trying to increase my sessions on the bike (indoor trainer) and also include some jogging. My morning sessions have been relatively successful in terms of getting through the session but my levels have risen which has required a bolus dose post session and then careful consideration of my breakfast bolus doses shortly afterwards to avoid a hypo later in the morning. My evening sessions have been a disaster! Trying to reduce my basal rate during the afternoon to allow me to train for 30 minutes to 1hr has led to late afternoon high levels which have required a bolus dose. This bolus dose has then lead to a hypo during my session. On other occasions I have had too much basal insulin in my system and I have also hypo’d during the training session.
Making these adjustments is a real balancing act and they do take time to get right. It is very frustrating when things don’t go to plan as I cannot train or a session ends without completing it, and then I have to manage the subsequent high or low blood sugars. This does get me a little depressed and wishing that it was easier but it does not stop me trying again the next day. Every diabetics management is different and trialing what works for you is the best way to figure out how you can get the most out of your activity.
I guess the purpose of this post is to acknowledge that managing diabetes and exercise/sport is difficult and sometimes it just does not work out as you planned. It doesn’t matter who you are or how long you have had diabetes for the challenges are the same for every one of us. Don’t let this stop you getting active because after these short moments of frustration the rewards when you get it right are massive for your diabetes, your body and your mental health.