Tapering is a well known method used amongst athletes in the week leading up to big sporting events, it allows the body to rest in preparation for a big all out effort at what ever event it is.
If you have not picked it up yet from my ramblings, exercise is a key driver for helping to maintain good blood glucose control and changes to my exercise ‘routine’ can bring about difficulties with control, so now with less than a week to go before I race the off road triathlon, my tapering needs to begin.
You are probably thinking I am being a bit dramatic but its crazy how easily your insulin regime needs to change 24 hours post exercise and I don’t want to be winging it come race day, Diabetes hates change and going from light to no exercise to extreme all out for a couple of hours isn’t going to fair well.
So the dilemma is – how do I slow down to let my body prep for the race without sending my blood sugars on a roller coaster because now that I am back on MDI for the time being, changes can be difficult to manage.
So far this week I have been pretty happy with the control but then again I have still been exercising every day.
So the ‘plan’ and I say plan lightly because it will probably change multiple times in the lead up to jumping in the freezing cold ocean at Dunsborough on Sunday, will be to;
- Maintain my low carb, high protein / fat way of eating to reduce any unknowns from the nutrition perspective,
- Hydrate like crazy all week, including salt intake – helps to reduce insulin resistance and nasty ass blood sugar readings,
- Exercise lightly each day – more than likely will involve swimming because I still need to practice, currently I look like I am drowning the whole time!
Now exercising lightly is quite difficult for me, if my exercise effort was a volume dial then you would always see it on either 1 or 11 (Spinal Tap joke), I rarely dial in it half way and the fact is I don’t think I know how too!
The plan for race day?? um…..
That is gonna be interesting, I sort of have an idea on what I need to do (not drown) but I can bet that come race day my blood sugar will do the usual pre-race crazy dance!
Seriously though I have a few factors to think about managing, when I swim my blood sugar tends to spike, same when I run but the mountain bike ride will see me go low (without management).
What to do…?
I have started experimenting with consuming a large (~30g) of protein before I do any longer intense rides that way as my blood sugar starts to drop, the glucose being released by the break down of the protein should keep it steady – well in theory, so far I have not had 100% success with it, so for Sunday I will this an hour prior to the swim and then have a water bottle with a 4-6g glucose tablet in it to swig prior to the ride.
Even with the unknowns that these events force me to face, I am not discouraged and I am still excited, whats more I am really hoping that my training will stand out on the day.