I am often asked how I deal with all of the diabetes paraphernalia when I am training and racing. With the risks associated with exercising and maintain BGLs I have learnt the importance of having all of my diabetes equipment with me at all times. These items can now include; insulin pump, CGM or blood testing kit, snacks for hypos/energy, mobile phone for emergencies and some money. To carry all of these items can make things difficult but I have been able to find ways to do so and not hinder my training sessions or races. I have looked to carry everything so that when swimming, running or riding my technique and comfort is not affected.
- I just tuck the pump into my bathers. I have stitched a little pouch into the back of my bathers in the past but this is not necessary.
- When swimming in a wetsuit I generally just do the same but you just have to be careful when putting on and taking off the wetsuit as you can knock the pump or push buttons which can cancel a temp basal or deliver an insulin dose accidentally.
- When swimming in the pool I always have my testing kit on the pool deck in a waterproof bag and a small towel to dry my hands prior to doing a test during the session.
- Remember to always rinse your pump off after swimming a salt or chlorine aren’t the friendliest to the pump.
- Cycling jerseys are great for carrying all the things that we need in the back pockets. Generally three pockets for my pump, blood test kit, food and mobile phone.
- I always have my pump connected when I train and to keep it safely in my back pocket I cut a small hole in the back of the jersey and then run the pump tube through the jersey, under my cycling shorts and then connect to the cannula. This works a treat and also allows easy access to the pump whilst riding.
- Running is the most tedious of my sessions as carrying extra items can really impact your running technique and you can feel weighed down.
- I wear a triathlon singlet-top which has two pockets in the back which I can place my items in. These tops are available from many brands and they usually have at least two pockets on the back.
- I wear a pretty tight singlet so that the items do not bounce around too much. I can squeeze in my pump, test kit and food without issue.
- Doing a session in the gym can be difficult as you are moving around a lot and the pump can easily get in the way or the tube can get caught on something.
- I wear training shorts which have a small pocket on the inside at the front or side where I can safely keep my pump and have the tube tucked into my shorts. Safe, secure and out of the way.
The most important thing is that you carry all of the necessary items. It can be a pain at first but when you get caught out without your test kit, food or money it can quickly get serious. Lessons learnt here from experience, always carry you diabetes items.