Float Water Swim

By · Monday, February 6th, 2006

Float Water Swim

I am working with an athlete who was recently diagnosed as diabetic and is the formation of an Ironman. Also new for all triathlons and training and logistics that come with it.

Last week I received an email from him about two problems with their diabetes management:

  1. High levels of glucose in your first bike sessions

  2. Hypoglycemia during swimming sessions held at lunch time

1) The early morning hyperglycemia is common in diabetics. Also known as the dawn phenomenon is the result of the decrease sensitivity to insulin and changes in the levels of various hormones in the morning hours (GH, cortisol, glucagon), which can lead to overproduction of glucose in the liver and peripheral glucose underutilization tissues.Â

From the training cycle only about an hour, no need with a good breakfast before these. So he took care to get a good breakfast after practice, taking a couple of extra ultra rapid insulin with him, and check the levels of blood glucose 2 hours after meals to make sure everything was absorbed.

2) Hypoglycemia during swimming sessions conducted at lunch time

For the second question, there is a link between situations that are causing hypoglycemia during the swim.

First, swimming brings a higher rate of metabolism and a greater number of muscles involved in the job compared with running or biking. When swimming, you are using many small muscles that make glycogen consumption slightly higher than during cycling or running, which makes swimming the discipline that causes a greater drop in blood glucose levels during the first hour of training.

Another reason is that on some days this athlete is training in the morning (when there is the dawn phenomenon) as well. So for the moment he enters the pool, not only is your metabolism higher, but its sensitivity to insulin is too high.

I remember back in my days of training no matter how high my blood glucose level before training – if not to eat before the session would end with a hypo.

The advice for my athlete was:

1. If the blood glucose level is> 180: Take a bottle of maltodextrin / sports drink (more than 200 calories) to the pool and drink in the middle of the session.

2. If the blood glucose level is

Connecting the two problems:

It is highly unlikely that you will get a hiccup in training with the stomach vacuum in the morning, unless of course, training is more than 1 hour or if he woke up with a very low level of blood glucose. Swimming is the discipline that has a greater impact on levels of glucose in the blood if you were to do them all at a similar intensity.Â

One way to manage these two problems is by working in the training program. The athlete only has access to a pool at lunch time and have a bike to train with the morning group. But if you can swim in the morning and run / bike at lunch / night, which would maintain levels of blood sugar more stable.

Moreover, swimming in the morning always is best for those with no experience in swimming since arriving to form a body cooler, less struggle to float in water, thus increasing the quality of sessions.

Vinnie Santana, Certified ironguides Coach – Bangkok, Thailand


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