In praise of the temporary basal.

I’m ramping up the workouts in anticipation of another ride in September. This will be the Tour de Talbot, which covers a lot of the same ground that my ADA ride covered in May.

Without a doubt, getting older means a lot of things when it comes to training. It means getting up at 4:45 a.m. to get to the gym is tougher (but not impossible). I get a few more aches and pains than I used to. No surprise there. Recovery seems to take a lot longer than it used to. That’s hard when you’re a guy who’s used to powering through the pain. Mentally, once I get started, it’s tough to take a break.

One of the things that’s interesting about working out as I get older is that when working out, my insulin needs haven’t really changed a bit. In the three-plus years that I’ve been wearing my insulin pump, whenever I work out, I’m doing a temporary basal of ½ unit per hour. That’s roughly 38 percent of my regular basal rate in the morning.

To be honest, nobody told me about temp basals when I got my pump. That’s another thing I learned from the DOC. I guess everybody just wanted to make sure I could handle changing my infusion set and counting carbs at the beginning. Lucky for me, in my early days of pumping, I just disconnected my pump before my workout began. I remember reading about temp basals online for the first time and thinking “Wow… I can work out for an hour or more and not be at 300 mg/dL when I’m finished?… Brilliant!”.

It does seem kind of weird that my temporary workout number is still the same. Of course, I haven’t been attached to a pump for very long yet, so maybe it’ll change over time. Plus, I still have to be in a good place BG-wise before my workout begins, or I might wind up with less than stellar results after. Still, I like when I can just set something one way and forget about it. And still feel great diabetes-wise when it’s all over. So here’s to the never-changing temporary basal rate for my workouts. Always true, always keeping me in range. Everything about my diabetes life should be this foolproof.

Note: DO NOT take what is written here as advice. If you’re thinking about altering your basal patterns, for workouts or otherwise, you should seek advice from a medical professional first.

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  • Jocelyn Foster  On August 30, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I am also a lover of my temporary basal rates! Lets us T1’s be the athletes we can be 🙂


  • victoria  On August 30, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Temp basals are my favorite and not just because of cycling! If I’m hovering at 90-100 at bedtime, I will lower them for an hour or two to avoid eating. Works like a charm most nights. I love temp basals! My friend, Sarah, showed them to me!


  • rundadrun  On September 1, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Great blog! I am a T2, but I like to keep in touch with all aspects of Diabetes. Keep up the great writing and the fight.


  • Karen  On September 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Yay for a temp basal routine that hasn’t needed to change!! I feel like diabetes can be so volatile, it’s really nice when something stays consistent.


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