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Triathlon and Diabetes

A triathlon can take you over a long distance, and medical identification must be worn should an emergency happen and people are trying to help you. Competing in a triathlon with type 1 diabetes is arguably the biggest challenge that sport can pose to your blood sugar levels. Triathlons take place over a long duration and require severe intensity and aerobic endurance, which will necessitate vigilant monitoring of your diabetes. However, your diabetes is no reason for you to not be able to compete in a triathlon. A triple threat of swimming, cycling and running may sound hard to manage, but it can be done, mostly through a period of trial and error to find a routine that works for you. Wearing a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can be hugely beneficial when competing, especially as some will function in water. This can allow you to check your blood sugar at any time of the race. Training Each exercise can have a different effect on blood sugar levels and require different approaches, especially if you train in all sports on the same day. Swimming can drastically reduce your blood glucose levels, so it is advised to start a session with a blood sugar of over 12 mmol/l. When training, especially as a beginner, you should stop swimming every 30 minutes and test your blood sugar. Eating some carbohydrate or consuming sugar during and after the swim will prevent your blood sugar falling. Running can have different effects on people, but testing your blood sugar before and after a session will be necessary. A reduction in your insulin may not be,...

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