JDRF One Ride 2017

I am super excited to launch my campaign for the 2017 JDRF One Ride today! This is one of JDRF’s important fundraising events and is held in the Barossa Valley at the beginning of May 2017. I’ve got some big ambitions for my fundraising and participation in the event and I really want to get as much exposure for Type 1 Diabetes and JDRF out into the community.

I have a page dedicated to One Ride Event JDRF One Ride 2017 where I’ll be linking all of my posts and activities to, and my fundraising page can be found here Donate to Type1Athletc One Ride.

Please head over to my JDRF One Ride page for all of the info and please think about getting involved in this fantastic event however you can, your contribution reall does make a difference to the lives of people with type 1 diabetes! Thank you

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Evening Training Highs & Hypos

I have always had a lot of trouble maintaining my BGLs when I am training in the afternoon. No matter how much I lower my basal insulin or how many carbs I consume, I always seem to end up having a sharp BGL drop during the session and if not that, then I end up with stomach issues from eating too much before/during the session. The combination of consuming carbs before/during a 1-1.5hr session and also reducing basal insulin, ultimately leads to a spike in BGLs after the session. Adding all of this up it’s 4hrs of worrying about BGLs every afternoon as I prepare, train and then recover.

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Getting levels stable can be very challenging, trying to balance; insulin, carbs and session duration is all important. Sometimes I do manage to get it close enough right though!

Especially with triathlon training where you need to squeeze in swim, ride and run sessions along with strength and recovery, you need to utilise all available sessions which including afternoons/evenings. With my challenges training in the afternoon I try to plan my sessions to get the most important ones in the morning (run and bike) and do other sessions in the evening (strength, swim plus lighter runs/rides). It takes some effort to get my planning right needing to consider; diabetes (am/pm), session requirements (hard/easy/length), pool availability, recovery time between sessions, weather and other personal commitments. Even so, but with a little stress, I manage to get 15 hours of training in most weeks.

So even though it’s a real challenge, I prepare myself most afternoons to head out and complete a training session know full well that there’s a high chance I’ll have a hypo. Recently I have had some success, my BGLs have been fairly stable and I’ve been able to complete some really good afternoon running sessions. The things which I am doing at the moment to give myself the best chance to complete these sessions include:

  • Reduce basal insulin 2 hours before training session and maintain reduced basal for first half of session. I need to reduce my basal rate by 70% for swimming and running session, and 50% for bike sessions in the afternoon. I do not require a reduction for strength sessions.
  • I do not start my session until after 2 hours post reducing my basal insulin rate to ensure that insulin levels in my system are reduced.
  • I try to start my sessions with BGLs around 10.0 mmol/l knowing that they will drop within the first 15 minutes
  • Consume between 20 and 40 grams of carbs about 30 minutes before the start of the session. This will usually be a supplement like Endura Optimizer or Hammer Recoverite mixed with water. I find that I respond well to these carb sources and they do no upset my stomach.
  • During a 1 hour session I will consume 25 grams of carbs at around the 30 minutes and this is usually a sports gel. It is important that whatever I consume does not upset my stomach and I also need to be able to carry it when running. When swimming or riding liquid carb sources are also an option.
  • I check my levels every 15 minutes during the session to make sure my levels are tracking OK and I can adjust things if needed. This does seem like a lot of testing but my levels are drop very quickly and when  you are covering a kilometre in around 4 minutes it can be a long walk home if you’ve missed a hypo!
  • I plan my sessions so that if something does go wrong, most likely a hypo and needing to walk back to the start, I am not too far away. A 20 minute loop is a good option and also provide for keeping provisions in your car for easy access.

I really work hard to get the most out of all of my training sessions and I do get upset when things don’t go to plan. I try to not let these incidents get to me but when you are trying your best and things still go wrong it is challenging to remain positive. Nevertheless, after many many incidents I continue to train and continue to work to get my diabetes management as close to perfect as possible. I know from experience that this will never be possible but the most important thing is to continue to strive to be better and in the end be healthy. Two afternoon run sessions week, one successful and one included a 20 minute walk back to the car in the rain, luckily I’m running first thing in the morning tomorrow!

Learning to Run

After my last Ironman race in June I took a couple of weeks completely away from any training and enjoyed what many would call a “normal” life. I am always active so there was plenty of time spent outdoors with my girlfriend and also plenty of social rides with a focus on coffee and donuts! Being active is such an important part of my life so I’ll always be doing something, but more importantly it forms a really important part of my diabetes management. During this time where I was less active it did have an impact on my diabetes and I did have to increase my insulin doses to account for this and monitor things a lot more closely to ensure my levels stayed stable.

MelbMara

There are only so many coffee shops you can ride to until you realise that you need a new goal and new challenge. For me, the triathlon season was a long way off and I needed a local event to train for between now and then (later in the year). The Melbourne Marathon is in October so the timing was good and I knew when I started thinking about racing the marathon and it made me a little nervous that it was a great challenge and goal. With running being the weakest of my triathlon disciplines, and understanding the physical toll which long run training takes on my body, this was going to be serious!

So back to some more structure training sessions and back to the same old diabetes issues; getting BGLs right for training, being able to get enough fuel and recovery food in and managing stress levels trying to get all of this right. A real positive from my break was that I have learnt to stress a little less about my BGLs when I am exercising and allow things to stabilise more steadily while continuing with my activity. Although erratic levels do hamper performance, you can work through them calmly and sensibly.

So to some of those challenges which I am looking forward to overcoming:

Physical challenges of running

  • Running is hard; no question about this
  • Extra stresses on the lower body from the high impact resulting is many combinations of muscle, tendon and joint soreness
  • Managing inflammation which can be one of the complications of diabetes; I usually require double the recovery time from any soft tissue injury than a non-T1D
  • There are no free kilometres like when cycling, you have “run” every kilometre and there a plenty of those

Diabetes challenges of running

  • For me, running has the biggest pull-down effect on my BGLs and this can occur very quickly
  • The need to keep BGL stable for 1.5 to 3hr sessions
  • Eating while running which is especially important for runs over 1hr and during afternoon/evening sessions
  • Carrying everything that I “may” need; BGL tester (Freestyle Libre at the moment), insulin pump, food (usually 2 x gels – approx.. 50gr carbs), phone and credit card/money (for emergencies)

I have had many annoying experiences when running due to my diabetes all of which have involved a hypo and then trying to get home; walking in the rain, taxi/uber, public transport without a ticket and even getting a dink from a cyclist. All of these are even more enjoyable at 5:30am in the morning or when I’ve heading into some remote location! Never-the-less I continue to head-off and challenge myself, and then have plenty of time to reassess when I am walking home (take 4-5 minutes to run a kilometre and 10-12 minutes to walk).

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My expressionless running face: not thinking about the pain, just ticking off the kilometres

Through social media and the great promotion which T1Ds are doing I have been able to meet some great people and new running buddies. From a performance perspective training with people at a similar level is great and being able to train with people at a higher level provide some fantastic benefits and improvements. Not only that, but training with people who also have and understand T1D is a new and enlightening experience. I recently had my first stop mid-session to allow my training partner to check their BGL and then have something to eat because they were trending low. Something that I do all the time but have never seen it form the other person point of view.

As my running has progressed I am enjoying it and feeling good when running. As expected my legs are feeling the sting after my longer runs and I’m having to put a lot of work in to strengthen and maintain good feeling in my legs. This is definitely a work in progress and I’ve got to watch that I don’t push things to hard and cause an injury. I’m lucky to have some great people to help me and bounce ideas off including Shaun Forrest (Elite marathoner and T1D). Unfortunately, there are some realities of running; it’s hard and there’s not cheating the kilometres! Fun times to come.

Diabetes Sports Project

When I started this blog it was my first real look into the type 1 diabetes community. Although I had been a T1D for over 20 years, like many T1Ds I’d just gone about managing my diabetes on my own and was not interested in reaching out or promoting my diabetes. In 2014 when I got serious about my athletic performance and started researching how to get the best out of myself I found that there was a real lack of resources available for T1Ds on this topic. I started Type1Athletic as a means to note down everything that I was learning through my research and subsequent trials (and errors), and I found many fantastic people, groups and organisations who were trying to do the same thing. This was a really positive experience and helped me in a number of ways.

I came across the Diabetes Sports Project (DSP) when searching the web one day and I instantly felt like I was looking at what I wanted Type1Athletic to be in the future. Through similar experiences to my own and in achieving some amazing race results with T1D the co-founders of DSP, Casey Bowen and Eric Trozer, were showing that having T1D was no hurdle to achieving sporting success. I was not only impressed by the quality of the athletes who were part of the DSP team but also the fantastic public awareness and education that they were doing in America. Working with children and the broader community, and also getting support from some significant companies they were really making a difference for the diabetes community. I felt an instant affinity with the group and contacted them immediately.

DiabetesSportsProject

DSP is led by a group of world class athletes who thrive with diabetes, their stories, athletic accomplishments and community outreach empower other to live healthy, responsible and active lives.

It is truly fantastic when you meet people who have shared very similar experiences and are working towards similar goals as you are. My contact with everyone at DSP has been really positive and I have been introduced to other inspiring T1D athletes from around the world. With technology making it easy to communicate with others across the globe and getting instant updates through social media, being involved in a global network of like minded individuals is nothing but positive.

In July 2016 DSP launched their “Champions” who are everyday T1Ds doing amazing things in their chosen sports and whose stories will provide further inspiration to all T1Ds to not let T1D stop them from achieving their best. I am proud to have been chosen as a DSP Champion and I hope that my experiences can educate and inspire people. Being involved with DSP does not change my attitude to my sport or how I live my life, but I get great motivation from knowing that I might be inspiring someone to achieve their own goals and that others can learn from my experiences. Through the challenges that I have faced I know that it would have been a lot easier if there had been a resources like DSP available to me when I was struggling.

Champions

Diabetes Champions – Stories to educate and inspire

Although DSP is based in America they provide a fantastic resource for all T1Ds worldwide and I highly recommend visiting their website, facebook page and following them through social media on instagram and twitter. I guarantee that having a network of T1Ds will provide you with the information, support and motivation you need to achieve your best.

Diabetes Sports Project: www.diabetessportsproject.com

The Diabetic Athlete

I was lucky to catch up with one of the fastest marathoners in the Australia yesterday, Shawn Forrest, who is also a Type 1 Diabetic. Shawn’s been running all of his life and as a professional athlete has a wealth of experience and knowledge about competing at the highest level which I just love learning about. He’s only been a T1D since 2014 so I might have also been able to provide the same to him with my lifetime of diabetes experience.

I get so much from speaking with similarly experienced and focused people with T1D and I walk away from these meetings feeling enthused with new knowledge and with a little weight lifted off my shoulders knowing that someone else is going through the exact same experiences and feelings as I am.We are not along!

One of the topics which we spoke about was an athletes mindset and how having T1D can change this. I told Shawn about my experiences through the end of 2015 and early 2016 where I suffered from crashes, injuries, fatigue and ultimately depression. During that time I was so focused on the results that I stopped enjoying what I was doing, didn’t celebrate any achievements and had such a poor mindset that my performances suffered. Once I was able to acknowledge and reconcile this everything including my performances improved. The results are certainly important,  but so is the journey and also the bigger picture and enjoyment. On a much bigger stage Shawn had been working to qualify for the Olympic Games for a number of years in the marathon and there were untold pressures on him to achieve this, and then he was also diagnose with T1D. Listening to him I had so much respect for how he continued to push through and achieved some great results through some very challenging times.

The thing that we both agreed on was that having T1D allowed us to have a really positive impact every single day and in every single race through the diabetes community and this often something that we overlooked. There will always be personal goals, but working to promote T1D and inspire other T1Ds to be active, take on challenges and achieve their own goals is super rewarding in itself. This fact alone is great motivation to continue pushing our own limits and finding new challenges. As another T1D positive this is something which many athletes and people generally do not have the benefit of.

I’m looking forward to spending some more time with Shawn and getting my legs run off with a few training sessions with him.

If you don’t know about Shawn he’s a real inspiration for T1Ds and has competed at the top of long distance running around the world for many years. You can follow him on Twitter: @runforrestT1run

Ironman 70.3 Cairns Race Report

Cairns was a fantastic race to end this block of training and racing for me. I’ve have many challenges over the last 12 months and to finish with a tough and successful race is really positive and has made me more enthusiastic to continue racing and improving. 12 months ago my mindset was all about the end result but I have learnt that there are many smaller victories along the way and enjoying the journey and the racing is the most important thing. I am now a better athlete for all that I have experienced.

Ironman 70.3 Cairns is a little more complicated than other races with the travel from Melbourne, organising my bike and kit, planning nutrition, different start, transition and finish locations, and of course keeping my diabetes under the best control possible. Cairns is a huge event that felt like it took over the whole region with the Ironman atmosphere. Getting that buzz when you arrive is great and gave me that little kick to get through to race morning.

Coming to Cairns with a season worth of training and racing under my belt I was focusing on the other important things including; nutrition, hydration, rest and of course my diabetes. Leading into the race I was in such a positive mindset that everything felt like it was running to plan and even my BGLs were stable and predictable. I had everything planned out and I just wanted to get to the start line and race. I have not felt like this for over 12 months and it was really energising to go into a race knowing that everything was under control. I was really enjoying this and being positive was also making me feel physically buzzing also.

Race day I was up at 3:30am to get to the bus terminal for transport up to the start at Palm Coves (45mins trip from Cairns). My BGLs were running perfectly at 6.0mmol/L from 3:30am to when I arrive at Palm Cove at 5:00am. My plan was to setup my transition, do a short warm-up, get into my wetsuit and then have something to eat about 30 minutes before the start. For the hour before the race start it was raining heavily and the winds were picking up making things a little awkward getting ready squeezed under the limited available shelter. With my BGLs still tracking at 6.5mmol/L I got down my carb/protein/coffee shake at 6am and was ready get on the beach for the start.

As a sub-30 minute swimmer I started in the first couple of groups off the rolling start. I was relaxed and enter the water calmly duck diving a couple of times and then swimming to some clear water around the first buoy. It was a little funny when I realised that I hadn’t done a swim in the “ocean” for a long time with all of my recent races in protected water. The ocean swells and choppy conditions were certainly a little challenging but the swim course was straightforward and passed pretty quickly. I was able to swim in clear water and sighted the buoys clearly. 29 minutes out of the water, feeling great and even giving my support team (Inge, Mum and Ken) a quick smile as I started the long long long run to my bike in T1 (I’m guessing this was about 500m and a pretty unique transition).

I am always happy to get onto the bike as I feel relaxed riding and it gives me plenty of time to check my BGLs and adjust if need be. Starting on the bike leg my BGL was at 10.0mmol/L that was a little higher than I thought it would be after the swim but still in a good range. Using the new Freestyle Libre Flash glucose monitor for the first time in a race it really made checking my BGLs easy and I trusted that the reading would be accurate. I wasn’t wrong and I honestly thing that this little device relieve the one of the stresses from previous races when my CGM wasn’t accurate I was finger prick testing during the race.

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Not needing to eat straight away I got in plenty of fluids (no carbs Endura) and settled into a steady rhythm (aiming for 85 cadence at 250 watts). There had been plenty of chatter about the drafting enforcement and there were a lot of TA official’s on the bike course. I had ended up in a group of 4 riders with each trying to push away but all seeming to remain together generally at a legal distance. The Captain Cook Hwy is a beautiful stretch of road and with the rolling hills and the ocean almost within reach the kilometres passed really quickly. The rain was pretty constant and at times so heavy that I couldn’t hear myself think as the massive tropical raindrops hammered into my helmet. After the turn-around point at the 30km mark I was feeling great and still in the group of four. There was now a slight head wind and the heavy rain continued. At around the 50km mark just as I had pushed to the front of the group I noticed my front end go wobbly and looking down I could immediately see that I had a flat tyre. Having had not handling issues on the wet and slippery roads to this point I nearly came off when trying to come to a stop now. Heart racing and legs pounding I was immediately annoyed but quickly got off, flicked off my front wheel and changed the tube. It may have taken 5 minutes all up but I didn’t worry and I was quick to get back into my rhythm heading to Cairns back past Palm Cove.

With 15 kilometres to go I was feeling the power draining from my legs and after checking my BGL realised that I hadn’t eaten enough in the last hour and my BGL was down to 4.0mmol/L and dropping. I had to ease up at this point and find a more comfortable rhythm so that I could eat and get my BGLs back up to start the run leg. My last 15 kilometres were slower than I would have liked but I just focused on being smooth, eating and drinking, and then checking my BGLs every 10 minutes. When I got to T2 my BGLs were back up to 6.5mmol/L and having eased off for the last part of the ride was feeling great starting the run (in the pouring rain). I got a little extra boost from seeing Inge and Mum again as I ran out of the transition and I may have even given someone a high-five!

Having put extra hours into my running over the last month I was looking forward to seeing how this training would pay off. I wanted to set a 4-minute pace to start with and I looked to find someone of a similar pace to work off. I was able to stick with this pace until the 8km point where the hurt set-in and I needed to slow. This was a little mental hurdle to overcome and I told myself to stick tough and maintain a steady pace, picking it up if I could. For the remainder of the run I was pacing around 4:30/km with a couple of faster and slower kilometres as I pushed harder or checked my BGLs and sucked down a gel. The heavy tropical rain continued to come and go and there were plenty of big puddles to run through (sort of good to take your mind off the pain). With my BGLs being on track I also enjoyed a few pieces of watermelon. Being my weakest leg the run is always tough but having my BGLs under control meant that I could focus on the running and not my diabetes for the first time in several races. With the atmosphere at the turnarounds and the crowds spread out along the whole run course the kilometres did pass quickly and the Ironman red carpet was underfoot with my arms in the air (still in the rain) before midday! BGLs finished at 6.0mmol/L, treading slightly downwards which allowed me to indulge in the recovery tent with a few big slices of watermelon and a protein recovery drink.

I finished with a time of 4hrs 38mins in 9th place in my age and 35th place over all. This was the toughest 70.3 race that I have completed and not worrying about the time or the place I am ready happy with my performance. There is always room to improve but I raced with the best mindset and with excellent control of my diabetes. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face after the race!

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Couldn’t be happier crossing the finish line!

I take some real positives out of this race. Firstly, my mental state leading into and during the race had the biggest impact on my performance including my diabetes. Being able to overcome several challenges and then keep going is a real strength that I am proud of. I have now learnt that my mental state is the most important thing for my performance and something that I will continue to work on for every race. Secondly, my diabetes plan worked perfectly with the basal program I set allowing me to eat and keep my BGLs stable. Finally, my swim and bike legs remained consistently strong and if not for the puncture I think that I would have been close to a bike PB for the 90km. With my diabetes plan working perfectly I did forget to eat during the bike leg (possibly because of the flat tyre) that led to a minor hypo. My nutrition and hydration are elements that I need to work on. Finally, although my run was OK I do want to improve this and be able to run consistently around 1hr 20-25 minutes for the run leg.

I actually feel like a different person to 12 months ago when I performance like this would have been picked apart negatively. Being positive really changes my whole performance and as hard as it has been to get to this point I am so glad that I was able to get here. I’ve had the best support from my partner Inge who has really shown me how important your mental condition is and how it impacts all other aspects of your body and your performance. Of course the rest of my family has been wonderful support and they’d enjoyed a few little trips away to support me. I’m now looking forward to a little break and then getting back into it for next season, new races and new goals.

The Importance of Self-Awareness

One of the biggest things that I have learnt this year is the importance of having and acting on good self-awareness, both physical and mental. The mind and body gives us many signals both positive and negative and I have found that the more I listen to these the healthier I am and the better I perform. This is by no means a soft and fluffy approach to my health or training, but more a means to understand how my body is reacting to things; treatments, training, nutrition, etc. By having this understanding I can then make better decisions which result in better performances (diabetes, sport and just general well-being).

So what do I mean by self-awareness? It’s the sensations, feelings and thoughts you have many times a day about how you are feeling and performing. For me these are generally around fatigue and training performance (physical), blood glucose levels (diabetes), gut health (nutrition) and mindset (mental health). I’ll label myself a “competitive male” and as such I have generally taken the approach to push through with the mentality that the harder I push the better the result will be. This is certainly not the case and coincidently generally results in worse results for me. My most recent 70.3 race at Port Macquarie was a good example of this; a very good performance and leading into the race I made a concious effort to listen to what my body were telling me and adjust what I was doing accordingly (rest, recover, eat, etc.). I can attest from this that acting on this self awareness really helped my performance.

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I’ve found a good correlation between my self awareness, performance and what my Training Peaks data is telling me – best thing to do is listen.

How I apply this self awareness to my daily life is pretty simple, the difficult part is actually being aware of and interpreting what you mind and body are telling you. I have been calibrating how I am feeling with my data on Training Peaks and they align pretty well. When my body is telling me to rest and recovery, training peaks shows high fatigue and low form. It will be individual how you read your mind and body and it will take time for you to understand how best to react. Below I have listed some of the straight forward but very important signals and actions which I take.

Area

Signals

Actions

Fatigue

–    Tired during the day, falling asleep early at night

–    Feeling lethargic

–    Eyes hurting

–    Not alert or switched on during day

–    Allow body to rest, this can be for multiple days in a row to fully re-energise

–    Focus on diet and hydration (drink plenty of water)

–    Do nothing as oppose to active recovery

–    Get a minimum 8hrs sleep per night for several nights in a row (10hrs if possible is even better).

Performance –    Can’t hit session training targets (HR, Power, pace, etc.)

–    Feeling weak during training

–    Prolonged muscle soreness and not recovering as quickly as normal

–    Reduce training volume and stop intensity (try active recovery)

–    Takes a couple of days off completely

–    Get a massage and get on the foam roller/stretch every day

–    Ensure nutrition and hydration are adequate

Gut Health –    Uncomfortable stomach/pain

–    Bloated

–    Irregular trips to the toilet

–    Simplify diet and focus on foods which assist with digestion

–    Don’t over eat

–    Avoid foods which agitate your stomach including high fat, too higher protein, sugary and processed foods

–    Water, water and more water

BGLs –    Individual hypo or High symptoms –    Stay calm and go back to basics, count carbs and test your BGL regularly

–    I focus on being positive and doing things which assist BGL stability including walking, not stressing and eating sensible

Mental Health –    Lost motivation

–    No enjoyment

–    Procrastination

–    Negative mindset (can’t look at the positives)

–    Irritable and rude

–    Stop everything and speak to someone about how you are feeling

–    Assess what you may be stressing about

–    Work on things you can control and influence

–    Don’t worry about things which are not in your control

–    Do activities which energise you, for me this is exercising, relaxing with my girlfriend and walking the dog

–    Focus on single tasks, complete them and then move on

–    Review how you are going, continue to speak with someone and acknowledge when you achieve/do something well

Managing your mental condition is the most challenging of these for a number of reasons and it also may have the greatest performance implications. From recent personal experience this is an area which I have taken a special interest in and I will be writing a piece soon about how I have overcome the mental challenges and depression which I have faced.

It seems straight forward that we should listen to our bodies but it is surprising how difficult this actually is and how often we ignore the signals, ending up in a worse situation. The best performances comes when we are feeling at our best, both physically and mental. Feeling physically fit and strong, healthy and nourished and with a positive mindset shouldn’t be that hard to achieve. Use your mind and body as a guide and you will be able to achieve your goals.

T&D May 29

If you follow my instagram feed then you would have seen that the last 7 days have been big! I had planned a really testing week of training with a focus on running and from Sunday through Sunday I clocked up just short of 90km which is pretty significant for someone with a swimming and cycling background. With this sort of form I can actually say that I enjoy running (at the moment). I also received a new BGL unit from Abbott; the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System. This continuous monitoring device has some unique differences to Dexcom CGM, which suit my uses really well. I am excited to continuing using this device, especially in my upcoming Ironman 70.3 event where I think that it will able to provide me with the edge I have been missing in previous events this year.

May 29

The numbers don’t lie, it’s been a really solid week!

It’s also been a big week as I have been able to get control of my BGLs during my afternoon training sessions where hypo’s had been causing me issues. Some adjustments to the timing of my basal reduction and then when I start my training session (allowing 2hrs+ now), plus eating something a little more substantial about 30mins before the session (30-40gr CHO) has yield more stable BGLs. I am still working on how much CHO I need to consume during the session and this is highly dependent on the duration and intensity of the session. So far it’s around 30gr CHO at 20-30mins into the session get’s me through a 1hr plus session. A work in progress #type1diabeteslife.

Muffin

One of the bonuses of exercising is being able to enjoy foods that you would usually avoid as a diabetic – post ride refuelling.

I think that I have learnt this week that managing my diabetes shouldn’t be that stressful. I do have challenges to over come and these seem pretty regular, but a lot of these challenges are caused in part due to something that I have done. This could be; not counting carbs correctly, not eating a proper meal and then snacking, not setting my basal/BGLs properly before a training session, under eating or over bolus dosing or over treating a hypo, etc. These are all things that I am 100% in control of and if I do them correctly, then the risks of an erratic BGL response are significantly reduced. It is true that my life requires planning and structure but this should not be a burden and to be healthy and thus happy these are critical. This week I have gotten most things right and the results speak for themselves, success in all aspects of my week and still full of energy on a Sunday evening.

Speaking with another type 1 diabetic over the weekend who is also very active, we seemed to have similar approaches to our type 1 diabetes and this seemed to stem from our attitude towards it. It was not that we both had amazingly positive attitudes, but we both acknowledge that type 1 diabetes needed to be managed in a specific way to allow us to live the lives that we wanted to. Type 1 diabetes wasn’t something that needed to be beaten, it formed an important part of each of use and probably enhanced some strong traits which allowed up to achieve our goals. Structure, planning, better understanding of our bodies and excellent nutrition are just a few of the positives to come out of having type 1 diabetes. I was enthused by this chat to stay focussed and know that by doing the rights things and being positive, great results will come.

 

T&D May 22

I don’t know if it’s my diabetes or trying to fit in training around the rest of my life but every week seems like a big and challenging week upon reflection. Even with all of the little things that seem to happen in my life (which seems pretty significant at the time) I still manage to have great weeks! This week with work, 15hrs of training, away for the weekend, out on Saturday night, a broken rear wheel mid-ride on Saturday, some high and low BGLs and an irritating reaction to my freshly cleaned local pool it was busy.

Point Lonsdale

Sunday morning recovery ride is the most important of the week for body and soul; Inge, coffees, muffins, selfies and a bit of recovery thrown in for good measure.

We choose to fill our days doing the things that we enjoy, that energise us (maybe apart from working but hopefully there are some positives there to) and the challenges that we face are part of doing these things. I don’t necessarily want to get up at 5am on a Saturday morning but when I’m cresting a hill with Bells Beach to my left and a sunrise warming my back I’ve forgotten about getting up and I’m just looking forward to the next couple of hours of nirvana (for me). Trying to fit everything in is certainly a juggling act but it can be, and is manageable. Priorities and planning is the aim of the game here.

Diabetes does add another dimension to this puzzle with the most difficult part being that diabetes often runs its own course and things happen even when you try your best to control them. My weekend for instance including perfect BGLs during my Saturday morning ride, good BGLs during my afternoon swim, high BGLs in the late afternoon and evening, high BGLs Sunday morning which turned into good BGLs for my ride and then run. I was able to complete my training sessions and enjoy a muffin on Sunday morning but I felt terrible on Saturday night and struggled to enjoy my evening out as I tried to bring my BGLs down. Pretty stressful I think and that’s by no means a bad 48 hours.

Think about this further I think on average 25% of my training sessions would be impacted by my BGL levels to some degree. Be that by a hypo stopping a session early, a high not allowing me to push out a quality session or a combination of BGLs and food making me feel ill. After so many years constantly planning and adjusting things occurs without me really thinking about it but it is very stressful and something which I am working to manage better and remain in a good mindset.

T&D

A planned and altered weekend (Saturday run missing) from a mechanical and BGLs. Overall though it’s been a great week of training!

The lesson which I have learned this week, and over recent weeks probably, is that things don’t need to run perfectly for me to achieve a great end result. This week for example was nearly derailed on a few occasions but from a training perspective turned out to be a really positive week. Even greater than this is possibly 25% of my training being impacted by my diabetes and even with this I continue to improve and perform well. I feel like diabetes is something which we can strongly influence buy never fully control and we need to be open minded to this. The uncontrollable diabetes events should not become the focus points of our day to day existence as even with these events so much is achievable. I will be reminding myself of this next time things don’t go to plan, maybe even today.

T&D May 15

I was struck down with a vicious head cold and sinus bug this week which put my training on the back burner and required a real focus to keep my BGLs within a good range. Illness always makes managing my diabetes a little more challenging and this week required the usual effort to keep my BGLs within a good range. Generally I require 20% more insulin (basal and bolus) when I am sick which may be due to the illness and/or spending most of the day on the couch (which is unusual for me).

In the past I have often gotten really frustrated when I have been ill and thought about what I can’t do, what sick leave I have to take and my BGLs are right. With my recent attitude adjustment I focused this week on what was the best things I could do whilst I was sick. I couldn’t change being sick but I could influence how and when I would recover. So the things which I focused on where:

  • Rest: I know that it is important to rest when I am sick as my body is fatigued from both the illness and also from my higher and more variable BGLs. Although I really struggle to just lay around I know that this is the best thing that I can do to recover. I try to enjoy this time as well as it’s not something that I often so.
  • Nutrition: I take the same approach when I am sick as I do when I am in full training. I eat the highest quality meals to fuel my body to overcome the illness the same as I would do to fuel my body for hard training sessions and recovery. Without have much else to do there’s a opportunity to create some fantastic healthy meals when home sick.
  • Hydration: You can’t underestimate how important adequate hydration is and it’s importance only increases when your body is under stress (training, racing or illness). Hydration is pretty simple; water, hydration formula’s and minimise consumption of caffeine which sadly means fewer coffees.
  • Diabetes: This can be really challenging as you are trying to balance higher BGLs, less activity, increased insulin and high risk of hypo’s. For me, a 20% increase in insulin generally keeps my BGLs under 10mmol/L and although this is higher than I’d like I accept that this is acceptable when sick.

I also try to get outside during the day when I am home sick to get some fresh air, sunshine and a little walk around which all benefit how I am feeling.

T&D May 15

Revised training program with strength component (last 8 weeks)

Recovering after a couple of days of rest I can now focus on getting back into training. The graphic above shows the breakdown of my training over the last 8 weeks since I introduced specific strength and conditioning sessions into my program. This yielded great results at Port Macquairie and I will be continuing with this program. I am pretty happy with the spilt but I may work on a small increase in the run percentage as this is the leg which I really want to improve on.

A challenge for the coming weeks will be getting my BGLs right in the evenings so that I can complete a productive PM session. I have struggled recently to maintain stable BGLs late in the afternoon and then I have been hypo-ing during my evening training sessions. Balancing insulin and CHO for these sessions has been the challenge with a post session high BGL the result if not a hypo during the session. Plenty to work on but we enjoy the challenges don’t we? #T1D