Afternoon session blues

Trying to get back from my broken collar bone at the moment and although the break and shoulder are healing ahead of schedule I am having great difficultly getting my blood sugar levels right for my afternoon/post work sessions. At the moment this is just cycling on the trainer or running but in both cases I can’t seem to keep my levels stable and over 30 minutes my levels are dropping 10-12 mmol/L to 4-5 mmol/L and then continuing to drop.

This is obviously super frustrating and yesterday I ended up having to walk nearly 4 kilometers back to my car when my levels dropped half way through my run! Not fun but on the plus side it a good time to think about things on the 30 minute walk back.

So what am I doing about this? Firstly I am trying not to stress about it and I am making sure that I am getting the most out of my morning sessions when my levels are stable. Secondly I am trying different insulin and CHO combinations including lower basal rate, increase CHO before session and increased CHO during session. The issue I am having with the first change is that my levels are then rising too much prior to the session, and with the second it is difficult to consume enough CHO prior to and during the session without feeling ill.

An individual issue which I have and which is especially prevalent in the afternoon is the very strong pull-down effect exercise has on by sugar levels. Even with a low basal does, no bolus insulin on board and having consume a prescribe amount of CHO my levels can drop between 5-10 mmol/L within 20 minutes. I do not seem to have this issue in the morning but it is a real challenge in the afternoon.

To help me get my training done at the moment I am now working on the following to manage my program.

  1. Putting all of my priority 1 sessions in the morning (and some priority 2 sessions) so I can get the maximum benefit from these
  2. Doing all of my run sessions in the morning; I have found trying to run in the after the most challenging with respect to my sugar levels
  3. Putting swim, strength and recovery sessions in the afternoon; I have previously been able to maintain more stable sugar levels when swimming in the afternoon which may be due to being able to sip on a high CHO drink (Gatorade) more easily during the session

As I am still in a recovery phase this is the perfect opportunity to get this right so that when I am fully recovered I can get the most out of my training immediately. With about 10 weeks until my next Ironman 70.3 event I have not time to waste.

**All details noted in this post are from the authors personal experience and should not be used as a treatment guide. See Disclaimer.


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