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Advice needed for open water swimming please

Discussion in 'Fitness, Exercise and Sport' started by valleyboy, May 27, 2014.

  1. valleyboy

    valleyboy Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hello there, I'm a relatively newly diagnosed Type 1 (diagnosed eight months ago and still in a "honeymoon period"). I enjoy Triathlons and Running and have slowly been trying to get back to action. After lots of trial and error and testing and recording I have now got back into running and cycling and some pool based swimming. I have done a couple of early season sprint triathlons and would love to get back to open water swimming and maybe try and complete an Olympic distance Tri before the end of the summer. I would love to know if there are any other Type ones on here who swim open water? In particular how do people carry emergency gels/jelly babies? Is infection more of a risk because of all the blood testing (are gloves required for example)? What sort of pre swim blood sugar reading is recommended? On a longer event (like an Olympic Distance or half Ironman type triathlon) is it important to keep testing blood sugars after each discipline? Because it is harder to control possible low bloods sugars and measure blood sugar levels unlike running, cycling or pool based swimming I have held back jumping back into open water. It would be great if there are any open water swimmers or triathlon types out there who could give me some advice please! Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Bebo321

    Bebo321 Family member · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there valleyboy,

    Congratulations on taking on the challenge!
    Sure there are plenty of people out there with T1 doing triathlon and even Ironman!

    Take a quick look at www.teambloodglucose.com (take a look at the T1 case study to understand about carbing and the basic mechanics if you're not completely familiar) and join the Sporty Diabetic Type1's Facebook page - loads of people to ask specific questions.
    We're getting our new tri-kit coming through soon and it looks awesome!

    TeamBG have planned cycling in Box Hill on 6th July - some of the mhealth guys will be there, who also do triathlon/ironman. Why not come along - all abilities welcome! (see cycling events)

    Also, for more detailed carbing advice, www.runsweet.com is a great resource.
    Happy training!;)
     
  3. copepod

    copepod Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Have a look at http://www.runsweet.com/Triathlon.html
    Gloves are not permitted in triathlon open water swimming - see BTF rule book section 9.2 http://www.britishtriathlon.org/britain/documents/about/rulebook_2012.pdf

    I marshal on quite a few triathlons, most recently 4 at Belvoir Castle last weekend. Although I don't compete in triathlon, and have no intention of doing so, as I can't afford a racing bike and triathlon wetsuit. However, I do swim in open water, including lakes and sea, using my farmer johns and jacket, bought for kayaking. I carry emergency food in the form of fruit puree sachets, sold in baby food aisles of supermarkets. Up to 18g CHO per 100g sachet. The advantage is that the nozzle you put in your mouth is covered by cap until you break seal, then can replace cp, so you don't have a sticky torn sachet as for sports gels, plus they're much cheaper and more palatable. I simply stick a couple inside my wetsuit. Not sure where you could fit a sachet if wearing a triathlon wetusit - perhaps attached to belt or inside swim cap?

    You'll need to experiment to discover what minimum blood glucose reading you need before open water swimming. Remember that the colder the water, the more energy you'll use. Personally, I usually aim for about 12 mmol/l before starting endurance events, such as mountain running.
     
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  4. valleyboy

    valleyboy Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi there, thank you both for your help. I really appreciate any help given and the benefit of peoples experience is really helpful. The websites you have put me in touch with are very useful - Thank you. It's also reassuring that there are other people out there who have got over being diagnosed and thrived after it. I have been really happy to get back to sport and exercise as I think it helps a lot both both physically and mentally.

    Thanks for the advice on the open water swimming. It is the main thing that I did before that I am nervous about and have held off doing. I guess it is again a question of trial and error and lots of testing and recording. One other question - is the risk of infection far greater due to the blood testing with open water swimming? I generally go to organised places where the water quality is tested but wondered if it was considered safe with respect to possible infection risks? I will look at trying to attach a couple of the fruit puree sachets behind my goggles and swim cap for my emergency carbs.

    Thanks again both for your help.
     
  5. copepod

    copepod Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Infection is no more of a risk with well controlled type 1 diabetes than without. So, keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible, and as long as the sensation in your feet isn't affected (can happen with long term poor control, leading to neuropathy) you should be fine. Of course, your feet will still lose sensation in cold water! I still try to wash my hands before eating food I have to touch, but if hypo, the prioroity is to get sugar into yourself. With fruit puree pouches, you don't touch the nozzle, juts stick it in your mouth and squeeze the pouch.

    Go for it! :)
     
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  6. valleyboy

    valleyboy Type 1 · Newbie

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    Cheers for that - I may make my return to open water swimming this weekend - thanks for your advice. I think I was more concerned with infection control after all the blood sugar testing with all the finger pricking! Thanks again, I will start with relatively short distances and see how it goes.
     
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