Type 1 diabetes & longer rides
Do any type 1 diabetic riders inject during a longer ride (5-6hrs)
I normally only ride 2-3hrs max so my fast acting (novarapid) insulin is still working in my system from my pre-ride meal. During a 3hr ride I would normally consume 2 SIS gels , 2 litres of energy drink , 2 slices of malt loaf and a flapjack . My blood sugar level had dropped when I tested after this ride from 11.5 to 6.7 .
What I’m not sure about is whether I’ll get any benefit from carbs consumed after my fast acting insulin has finished working (3-4hrs)
Any tips / help would be great
Thanks.Posted 3 years ago
I’m not sure if he’d mind, but maybe contact this gent at Newcastle Uni, my daughter is Type 1 (7 years old), and i did a silly 300 mile 24 hour ride from Newcastle to London and one of the riders was T1 and wearing a number of sensors and monitoring gear, for the ride, they are doing a lot of research in to endurance sport and diabetes:
I’d also look at whether you can get something like the Freestyle Libre system free (it is not available via NHS) and you have to pay for the sensors each fortnight, but the company often do trials where you get the handset and first sensor free, this system means you can check blood glucose without pricking finger and also records constantly your BG so you can see last 8 hours info, this would allow you to track what your bloods are doing during the ride and get the full info, rather than just a “snapshot” of the BG reading when you prick finger, plus the system gives an arrow showing if you BG is stable, rising slowly, rising rapidly and visa versa:
Sorry, can’t really advise but I’m interested in this, more for the future, cos my son is diabetic.
I assume you have a pre-ride meal with the insulin dose appropriate for the carbs, but do you also account for the carb intake of the stuff you list that you consumed during the 2-3 ride?
Why wouldn’t you get any benefit from carbs consumed after your fast acting insulin has stopped working? If your blood sugar reading remains in the right range due to the exercise then surely you’ll benefit as anyone would? But if your blood sugar goes beyond 14 then you risk ketones, so you need another insulin dose?Posted 3 years ago
T1 diabetic here, who is just starting to get into endurance racing…
I’ve found the freestyle libre to be brilliant (though those aren’t cheap, £300 a quarter) as, by far, the worst bit of being diabetic is pricking my finger, but also, if I’m out on a ride, I don’t have all the palaver of testing/strips/needles etc.
All the endurance stuff I’ve done has been lap based, so I’ve just test d every lap and acted accordingly, though I err on the side of less is more insulin, reducing my ratio of 1.5 units of novorapid per 10g carb to 1 as I find he exercise takes care of the rest. Basal (levemir) insulin remains the same.
On longer rides I test hourly, more if needs be, and do as above, though I play by ear on the insulin depending on how hard I’m working (full training ride, 1u/10g. Normal pootle = normal insulin)
Happy to try an answer any qsPosted 3 years ago
Brian Lucido won this years Tour Divide in under 15 days (!) and is diabetic, but dont know if T1 or T2. Might be worth contacting him.Posted 3 years ago
Mrs Poly is type 1. She also uses a freestyle libre (but only when on planned really long stuff, not every day). She has moved to a pump and it helps a lot. She used to find the issue was not on the ride but in the hours afterwards.
Even if you don’t want (or are on a long waiting list for) a pump it may be worth discussing the sort of “calibrations” people do when adopting a pump to understand their own carb:insulin requirement, the impact of some foods on carb absorbtion and basal doses better. That level of scientific analysis of your personal habits and things like carb free days to set the level could be a real help – but only with specialist advice to help you set it up and understand it.Posted 3 years ago
@mtbtomo I currently only inject for the meal not the carbs i consume on the ride . But this insulin carries on working for 3-4 hrs so it’s always been in my system.
I only inject 1unit per 15-20g of carbs which was lower than anybody else on the DAFNE course is did.
But from reading this:
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).
The cells in your body need sugar for energy. However, sugar cannot go into most of your cells directly. After you eat food and your blood sugar level rises, cells in your pancreas (known as beta cells) are signaled to release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin then attaches to and signals cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Insulin is often described as a “key,” which unlocks the cell to allow sugar to enter the cell and be used for energy.
Will I actually be getting the benefit of energy gels / carbs consumed after my initial injection has worn off or just a high blood sugar reading. Basically wasn’t sure whether to inject after 3-4hrs but consume more carbs to stop a hypo .
Thanks for all the advice …. much appreciated.Posted 3 years ago
From personal experience, sounds to me like you would benefit from a quick 10units of Novarapid (and snack) after 3:00 hours.
When you see what Steve Redgrave achieved
You ever tested for keytones afterwards?Posted 3 years ago
As I understand/understood it, the amount of insulin in your system acts against the carbs you’ve accounted for dependant on your ratio. Whether it’s supposedly still active or not for 2-3 hours, it won’t be processing any extra carbs you consume in that time, just the ones you accounted for in your pre-ride meal. The exercise will be off setting the additional carbs you consume during that time and is equivalent to reducing your carb/insulin ratio. Blood sugar monitoring at 3 hours and how you actually feel would be a better indicator of what you need to do at that point rather than us on this forum surmising whether more carbs after 3 hours will still help you. 🙂
As previously mentioned by others, the freestyle libre was fantastic for my lad when we were in Lapland – would have been horrendous trying to do finger pricks out there in the sub zero temperatures. He also now on a pump and has the continuous glucose monitoring probe associated with thatPosted 3 years ago
How long have you been diagnosed as diabetic?Posted 3 years ago
I’m on a pump, so I tend to knock my basal down to 10% for what I think is the duration of the ride plus the same time again. I don’t tend to have issues with my diabetes in terms of the insulin, it is more that I lose all appetite whilst biking so I don’t eat much.
The pump has made things much easier for me…very easy and it only took 3 or 4 rides to get it sorted out (but then it has been ages since I’ve done a regular batch of big day rides so suspect I’ll be caught out once again when I restart them).
On the days I do manage to keep eating (I eat a jelly baby every 15 minutes, but that doesn’t really count as it is gone in under 10 minutes!) and eat proper stuff, then it is trouble free and by the end of the ride I’m utterly burst due to lack of stamina and fitness.
However, it has been a while since I did a big day ride (and that day was terrible due to not eating properly so I had no energy and eventually felt very sick).Posted 3 years ago
@mtbtomo was diagnosed 5 1/2 years ago at the age of 33 so quite late.
I roughly know what I need to eat/drink on my average ride every hour . But just unsure if I needed to change anything on longer 4-6 hour rides … and my background insulin (lantus) will still be working .
Thanks again for the replies … Will look into these pumps.Posted 3 years ago
I’m 48 and been diabetic since I was 11. Back then I was on 1 injection a day, now on the standard before meals and before bed.
I’ve done all types of racing and riding since my early teens.
I agree if you can afford it get the freestyle tester, I can’t but would love one as I’m useless at testing. You get to know your body and feeling, but a longer ride if your unsure test! It’s not too hard eat what you need to keep your enagey up and don’t inject as much as you normally would for that amount of food when it’s your main meal. The tricky bit is munching to keep your energy up, to inject or not. Everyone is different, I don’t inject to munch on long rides just main meals.
Don’t stress too much, don’t let it rule you but keep an eye on it.Posted 3 years ago
The Freestyle test sensor works very well but doesn’t work below 1c…it seems to record and store the results but doesn’t pick them up when scanned until the sensor warms up again.Posted 3 years ago
Another brilliant bit of kit (pricey until (if) it becomes a prescription item).
Give it a bash and do a bigger ride with plenty blood tests along the way…gives you a baseline to go from.
Suspect you’ll be fine with a few tweaks.Posted 3 years ago
Temp basal, sound like it will be a good way to start, and it’s rally trial and error with regards correction awhat. You bolus, every one is different so regularly big tests for a bit until you get the right balance, also next hospital visit as the dietitian will keep you rightPosted 3 years ago
We had the Freestyle libre working fine at between -5 and -10 in Lapland, scanning through a snow suit. The scanner was just in a rucsac though.
On the other hand, the Roche BG tester, that we used to use before he got the pump, stopped working up the hills in England cos it said it was too cold – and it wasn’t even sub-zero. That was really un-useful when we wanted to eat lunch at the top of the hill!Posted 3 years ago
I cut down my pre-ride ratio by 2/3rds and snack during rides. For longer rides with planned food stops I inject at half my normal ratio. Beware of post exercise hypos after the ride, especially if you’re driving home. I find this less of an issue after swapping from lantus to tresiba.Posted 3 years ago
I use my phone to scan and it reports too cold to read…warm it up and it works again.Posted 3 years ago
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