Triathlete Talk

Hi everybody! My name is Mary Kate and I just joined Juvenation a few days ago. I was diagnosed less than two years ago and have competed in one (sprint distance) triathlon (six months after diagnosis.) Learning I have type 1 was inspiration for me to do my first tri because I figured, why not? I wanted a physical challenge that showed me how strong my body is despite having diabetes. It was exhilarating and I can't wait to do another soon!

Anyone else out there a triathlete? Which is your favorite leg of the race? What challenges do you experience training for an endurance event?

Although I was never much of a runner until recently, I think the run is my favorite! Since it comes at the end, I feel like it's the ultimate test of mental strength to push through discomfort and negativity. Awesome!

Also, I just got a Dexcom SEVEN PLUS continuous glucose sensor and it is incredible...I love knowing what my sugars are doing (and how quickly.) It helps me to relax during workouts.

Hello MaryKate!!

I have had Type 1 since 2008 and am 26. I love half-marathons and fulls but haven't gotten over my fear of water yet to attempt a triathlon. I've done some duathlons though and love the transitions and lookign forawrd to the next event!

Have you heard of Insulindependence? They have a club called Triabetes ( Depending on where you live there might even be a group already in your area that you could join and meet other triathletes with Type 1! Let me nkow if you want help or more info or if you really are having a hard time finding someone to talk to. I may know someone in your area!


Rochester NY

I am planning on running my first half marathon in August but I am pretty worried about how I'll treat my lows because running always makes me go low. I've started training already so hopefully my blood sugars get used to running and balance out/get less affected by running by the time of the race!

I had never really heard of continuous glucose sensors before but thanks for mentioning it! I think that would be so helpful for me, especially since I like knowing exactly what my sugars are doing (so I test OCD tons! lol). I get stressed out about my sugars when I do hard workouts, I can't wait to try this new gadget out, it seems like it'll make my life much easier!

Hi Kailey,

I just ran the Chicago Marathon in October. Obviously, diabetes affects everyone differently, but this is how I managed it while training and racing: the night before I took a lower dose of Lantus than I usually do. The morning of a long run or the race, I would eat a very small meal (like a rice cake with peanut butter) and wait to take my morning Lantus until after the run was done. That helped to prevent lows while running. I also always run with a small fanny pack. In it I carry my glucometer, glucose gel, glucose tabs, runner's gel and sport beans for long runs, and a cell phone and cab money for emergencies. That way if I'm several miles from home, I always have something to correct a low. During the entire training season, I never had a low that I couldn't correct and keep on running. Good luck with your training!

Thanks for the suggestions Christina! I'll have to get myself a fanny pack :)

Completed my first two sprint distance tris last year!  I've had type 1 for 21 years now, and I always wanted to see if I could complete a triathlon.  Now I want to do more.  I'm a very good swimmer, so the swim is the easiest for me.  Then the bike.  And I'm a slow runner... although I agree with you that it is the ultimate test of strength and resolve because it's at the end.

The biggest challenge for me is later in the day after training.  I'm able to mitigate that by adjusting my basal rates (I've been on the medtronic pump for 2 years) on the days that I train.  Of course, it's no help when the D throws you a curveball (sorry, mixing my sports metaphors).  But that's not enough to deter me.

Can't wait to do another event.

Good luck!

Way to go! I haven't done any triathlons. I'm just not much of a swimmer. I mean, I know how to swim - it's just not pretty :P

I have done a few duathlons though. I'm an avid cyclist and ok with running.

For MM pumpers, what do you do with your pump during the swim? Or do you just not wear it at all?

Dani, it can take a little water.  If you're doing a swim in open water with a wetsuit, you can probably still leave it attached... just leave everything under the wetsuit.  But please also understand that I'm not a spokesperson for Medtronic, and I am not giving medical or pump advice.

I took the pump off for my triathlons, which were about 1:30 to 1:45 in length.  But my glucose levels were pretty high after, so I had to bolus right away.  I'm thinking about how to deal with this in a different way next time... either find a way to keep the pump attached, or attach it after the swim maybe.

My advice to anyone worried about the swim is to get control of your breathing.  Once you're comfortable with your breathing, you can swim forever.  And everyone thinks their swim stroke stinks, but no one notices after the gun goes off.  Good luck!