T&D May 1

Race week and I was really nervous. Nervous because I’ve had a good block of training but mainly nervous because I wasn’t confident in having my diabetes 100% under control. With tamper, travel and then racing all happening this was going to be a big week and I really didn’t want to get anything wrong.

I had some real struggles before and during the race and in the end to walk away with 10th place was a great effort. Apart from the massive hypo I had in the last 2km of the run leg I was on track for a great time and result, and I take this as a real positive from the race. After the race I enjoyed as burger with my training buddy Matt (who PB again at the race!) and my family which quickly put everything into perspective. See my race report here.

Port Mac Walk

Post race walk and debrief in the rain at Port Macquarie

I have learnt a couple of really big things this week and I am surprised by what I have learned given that I thought everything was tracking perfectly leading into this race.

  • Your mental state and especially nervous energy, stress and adrenaline have a massive impact on you BGLs. I am usually really relaxed before an event but I was so nervous and anxious that my BGLs were out of control and I struggled to keep them stable over the race weekend. I am now going to work on my mental conditioning leading into a race to ensure this doesn’t happen again this was such a profound experience that I’m going to investigate it further in a future blog piece.
  • Diabetes control is the key to your best performance; taking the time to test your BGL during the race is worth it, that extra 30 seconds to do this won’t cost you a PB but if you don’t then it could cost you your whole race. Even with a CGM I tested my BGL multiple times during the race and although the numbers weren’t what I wanted to see, I did know where I was at.
  • Keep it simple: For both mental and diabetes performance keeping everything as simple as possible makes such a difference. Although I nearly lost my sh#t prior to the race if I didn’t have my race routine, food, bike setup, etc. already sorted then I would have been in a lot more trouble. Even though things didn’t go to plant I was able to ge thtrough the race but following the simple things which I had in place.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy it: I think that I have put too much pressure on myself over the last 6 months and my performances have suffered. During the race I reminded myself to enjoy it and with this mindset I didn’t let my diabetes issues get to me and my performance and times where good. No need to make a tough Ironman event any tougher.

I have six weeks now until my next race at Ironman Cairns 70.3 and with the success of my modified training program I am excited to get another solid 4-week block of training in and head to Carins ready for my best performance. I’ll be working on my mental conditioning and also my diabetes plan until then with the hope that everything comes together for this big race.

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2 thoughts on “T&D May 1

  1. Well done Alex! Nice work. I was going to get in touch with you about the impacts of stress and adrenaline on BGL. Surfed good size Winki Pop today (was a little nervous as the forecast was for massive surf) and BGL was completely out of control. My wife suggested I read up on what you do as it must be a massive part of pre-race period. I see that it impacts you as well – I may give you a call about your observations.

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  2. Hey Matt. This was the first time that I had experienced such a response pre-race. Usually I am a lot more relaxed but due to a number of reasons I was very nervous and yes it did impact my BGLs. Staying calm is so important and I will be working on in the future. I think that trying to keep the same pattern leading up to an event is also important. For the “knowns” like you have mentioned I think that I would give myself a bolus dose and then stay within range of my test kit and food (difficult in a 4hr race but achievable is other scenario’s). I’ve said this before, T1D makes us better and control our nerves and emotions is just one of those things. Cheers.

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