Elite Training With The Enlite Sensor, Safe Guard System And The Medtronic Mini Med 640g

Today was the very first day of Winter training, and we got the season off to a bang with a session at the dreaded sand dunes at Merthyr Mawr in South Wales. Although I've been trying to keep active during the off-season, there aren't many things that compare to the high intensity of sprint training. But the sand dunes is definitely up there with one of the worst sessions that we do, because it involves not only sprinting, but whole body movements to create a big enough force to get up the horrendously steep inclined sand dune hills.

I got up extra early before the session this morning, because I wanted to put a new Enlite sensor in, to connect with the Medtronic MiniMed 640g insulin pump. Which would then allow me to use the Smart Guard system whilst training, which in turn enables the pump to suspend insulin delivery when glucose levels are dropping to rapidly or are low and heading towards a hypo. This was one of the many reasons that I wanted to participate in the trial, as quite often during training my glucose levels drop quicker than I'm able to put sugar back in my body. Which sometimes means that I have to take my pump off for a period of time during training. (This is not something I advise others to do as everyone's diabetes is different). But Smart Guard could potentially mean getting the absolute best out of my sporting performance and my pump, whilst doing it safely too.

Once the sensor had connected and warmed up, the pump asked for a calibration glucose reading, so I did a blood test that automatically got sent to the MiniMed 640g pump. It read 15.4mmol, which was up from my waking BG of 8.9mmol, I think was because of the adrenaline caused by the anticipatory excitement of my first session back. I gave a correction dose of insulin and re-tested to ensure it was safe to exercise when we arrived, so I knew that it was safe to exercise. When we got back off the run I tested again and the SG said 18.2mmol and rising, but I didn't feel it. So I tested and discovered my actual blood sugar reading was 10.4mmol. At which point I had to switch the sensor off and back on a few minutes later, because the gap between readings was too great. I think this difference occurred because of the combination of the exertion of the mile long run and the earlier correction dose meant that the insulin got used quickly. Perhaps even more so than the sensor could register.

We started the session with a mile-long run, followed by a mammoth session on the dunes of pyramids up and down the sand in 2's and 1's with minimal recoveries. I tested before we began the next part of the session which was 3 runs up the dune for about 60m, that like the rest of the runs included a massive incline. The sensor reading said 10.2mmol and this matched my actual blood glucose reading, which meant I was back on track with Smart Guard. The main things that I noticed when using it, ironically was that I didn't notice that I was wearing the Enlite sensor at all. It didn't move and was well attached, being hot and sweaty whilst running made no difference to the adhesive either. I also felt much more comfortable whilst running, because for once I wasn't thinking about my blood sugars. Which is a massive thing to be able to say with 10 years of doing athletics, with diabetes!


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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