Kaelan's swimming BG thread

Last year I spent two seasons swimming on MDI. Every 20 minutes, I would take 15 grams of sugar. After practice I did not run low.

This year swim season started a few weeks ago. I could not start early on because I had just started on my pump, and needed to get tuned up. Last week I went to my first practice, but did not swim because i could never get above 75. I had too much IOB due to a peak and correction.

This evening I went to a 1-hour practice. One hour and a quarter before practice, I was low, so I set up a 50% temp basal. Then, 45 minutes before practice, I set my temp basal to zero. 10 minutes before getting into the water I was still a bit low, and I took 10 grams of sugar. I swam for one hour non-stop, medium effort, and stayed between 72 and 95 all along, I was quite flat! I did not have to take sugar at all.

So that’s really good. What was not so good was that I ripped my pod while swimming against the lane separator, and found out when I got out of the pool that I did not have my insulin pen with me. So I could not inject for 45 minutes after practice, until I got home. I did not refuel after practice either because I knew I would run high. I got a new pod on with basal on 55 minutes after the end of practice. I peaked in the mid 130s, but it took me 3 hours after practice until I was low enough to have a full dinner despite taking a lot of insulin (twice as much as I was expecting to need, over more than 2 hours) – not good for refueling.

So imho good start but lots of room for improvement.


Good luck! Those are awesome numbers for your first practice with the pod! I can’t imagine having to eat that much during swim practice so I’m glad you are getting this sorted out.


What are your preferred strokes / distances ?


That sounds like a great first try with it! You will get those basal numbers dialed in perfectly with time!

Keep in mind, the difference now is that you are not taking any basal for a few hours, compared to before when you still had Lantus. So you will definitely need more insulin post-swim than what you did before. You have to take enough for the carbs and the lost basal.


OMG, Kaelan, this is awesome; i’ve been trying since this past May to have such success, and i am also on the pump. the only difference is that i’m on the MiniMed which isn’t waterproof, so i have to detach before i get into the water. also, i have to go to 0% basal for 2.5 hours before jumping in the pool. its a complicated procedure. if i only went down to 50% i would sink with too much IOB.

wish you all the best. sent you a message from my thread. check it out. Daisy Mae.

btw, do you wear a cgm?


@daisymae, this is funny, my dad and I read all the posts in your thread so as to figure out what we should do on the pump: what I did on MDI did not seem to apply at all any more! You have experimented a lot and you know a lot more about what works for you than I do. I have a lot to catch up.

I kinda do the same as I shut off my insulin when I swim right now. But when I go running I just lower my basal.

I read that on your thread. Also, you use a lot less insulin than me, so you must be a lot more sensitive to insulin. When I read your thread, I figured that because I was less sensitive than you I should shut off later.

Thanks so much @daisymae!!!

I do. It worked superwell. Now, the transmitter backfills so I can see all my points. Here is my BG track (thanks to my dad):


You can see that I was nice and flat during my swim, but it took me a very long time to be able to refuel. I did it in two batches, first 30 carbs of chocolate milk to fuel up fast, then a full dinner (rice mostly, because I needed lots of carbs).


Thanks very much @Eric! I am trying to do everything you tell me to do.

I sure did. This time, I used almost 50% more insulin than if I had not gone swimming for the carbs I ate. But I think it is because I was suspended for so long and went high (because I had lost my pod swimming and had to set up another so i was without insulin for a while after practice).

I was not sure what to refuel so I refueled 130 carbs. I think that was too much though. It was a short practice.


Hi @Thomas, I like freestyle and backstroke best. I don’t do so well on sprints, but I really enjoy long distances.

Thanks very much @CarolynA! It is a relief not to have to eat all the time, because I would have run low if I had been late even 5 minutes every time when I was on MDI.

But I was lucky this time. It will take me a while to figure out how to get my practices right.

I used to swim. I liked the 400 meter crawl. Although that was so long ago, I think we actually swam in yards instead of meters so it was the 400 yard crawl.


I like the 400s too!

We’re in the same boat with exercise, @Kaelan. On MDIs I’d need a lot of extra carbs for mowing, long walks, etc. Figuring out the use of temporary basals is a whole new ball game but is giving me more confidence, too.



i left you a message on my swimming thread by mistake. please check it out.

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this is the same for me. i like the distance swimming. thats why i swim for the 2 hours. i have never measured how many miles i swim, but i am certain that its probably a lot. i don’t like sprints, either. don’t bother with them, but i love the feeling of pumping my legs hard. its like a burning sensation but a good one, if you know what i mean.

eric once said to me that “the only person you have to go faster than is yourself .” i like that philosophy.


I had a 90 minute practice this morning. i was amazed at how well it went. The highest I went was 130, and I never went high afterwards. Here is my track (thanks to my dad):

  • I suspended my basal 45 minutes before practice at 9:15
  • I had a no-carb breakfast at 9:30 (because I did not want IOB)
  • I took 4 carbs at 9:50 (I was at 79) to start at 100. I did not go up enough, so
  • I took 4 more carbs at 10:05 (I was at 84)
  • I started practice at 10:00. Practice started light, and my BG went up to 115. Then practice became hard and stayed hard till the end. My BG stayed between 109 and 130 all through the rest of the practice.
  • 20 minutes before the end of practice, I restarted my basal, and took a bolus for 1 hour of basal and 1/2 of my after-practice snack (32 carbs of chocolate milk).
  • Right at the end of practice (10:30), I drank 32 carbs of chocolate milk, and bolused for a 60 carb lunch. I did not go high from the chocolate milk.
  • At 11:15, I turned the corner and had a 60 carb lunch. I kept my basal the same all afternoon. My BG was perfect. between 85 and 106 all afternoon.

Since this was a morning practice, I took a no-carb breakfast (eggs and sausage) so I had absolutely no bolus IOB.


Outstanding! Way to go!


Thank you @Eric!

What should I do better?

I don’t think there is anything to do better for this one. Everything looks like you did it perfectly. Nothing I can see that needs to be changed for this one.

Here are some other more general things, not specific to this one practice.

  • Your parents are concerned for you, and always will be. And that is how it will always be. That is just how parents are. Make it your goal to never give them a reason to worry. Make their worries get “bored” because you never give them reason. Try to bore them.

  • When mistakes happen, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just be grateful for the opportunity to learn. That is how we get better. If you show me a man who has never made a mistake, I will show you a man that has never done anything. It is a lifetime of learning. Don’t get upset at yourself when things go wrong. Just learn and get better.

  • When you are swimming, do your BG checking and adjustments with insulin or carbs. But when you get in the water, just put the diabetes away for a little bit and focus on the swimming. When you need to get out of the water, do what you have to do, check again, correct again, then get back in the water and get back to work. Leave the diabetes on the side of the pool, don’t let it get in the water with you and bother you. Trust yourself, know you are doing what needs to be done, and don’t let diabetes weigh you down in the water. Think of the swimming as time away from the disease. You take insulin and carbs when you are out of the water, or hanging on the side of the pool. You check your BG when you are not swimming. But the disease does not swim with you. Be free from it for a little bit at a time while you are swimming. Let every lap be an escape.

  • There is only one person you need to beat. Do you know who that is? Beat yesterday’s Kaelan. That is all you have to do. Be better than you were yesterday. Do that everyday.

  • Know that the disease takes a little bit away from your pancreas, but it gives you so much more in patience, persistence, toughness, diligence, creativity, courage. You have 10x the set that any of your peers have. Know how much more you have and will have. The disease teaches you a mental fortitude like nothing else. Those things will carry you far and help you in every endeavor.

  • Embrace every second of every day. You need time to rest and relax, but don’t be consumed with idleness. Read a book, go outside, run, swim, explore, learn, do.

I haven’t gotten there all the way myself yet. I am still working on all of those things. Let’s get there together.


I have not been good at updating my swimming thread. The reasons are:

  • I have had lots of ear infections on and off for the past 3 months, so I did not swim that much. The doctor finally figured out i had a fungal ear infection, and, hopefully, tomorrow he will say it’s gone for good.

  • I am taking a really hard literature class on line that takes a lot of time, and I am in the school musical.

  • I have really bad hormone peaks so i don’t get as much sleep as I want and I am tired.

But I hope the next few months will be better, so I can write more.