Well to clarify, I don’t do anything to switch on or off fat metabolism. That’s just the body doing what it does naturally.
Also to clarify, I don’t “eat” fat for fuel when running. It’s the body using stored fat for fuel.
The food I eat for fuel when running is always carbs.
What I try to do is allow the circumstances to take place so fat metabolism can happen. And that means having a tight normal (non-diabetic) BG range. Doing that, and a lot of endurance training, causes the body to burn a higher amount of fat for fuel during the run.
The elite athletes can do a much higher percentage than I can. I’m just trying to get as much as possible.
The advantage I have when running instead of swimming is that I can consume carbs while running, and test BG when running. Those are much tougher challenges for a swimmer.
For athletics, fat metabolism is useful for endurance events. For short distances, your body relies on muscle glycogen. It doesn’t need fat for fuel.
In running, most people have 10-13 miles worth of muscle glycogen (elites have more). So I try to train my body to get a higher percentage of the distance from fat metabolism, since I can’t make it the whole way on muscle glycogen.
For Kaelan, it depends on what events he’s doing. If he is a sprinter, fat metabolism is not as important (or useful). If he does distance swimming, then it becomes important to work toward that.
We can talk about this sometime. The most important thing is to get comfortable with how much insulin and carbs are needed for different types of workouts. And to develop ways that he can quickly access a fix when he’s in the water, whether it’s insulin, carbs, or testing.
I like the grazing method now. No big amount of sugar, just a little bit, but frequently. Think in term of sips of Gatorade every 10 minutes. If he rises, skip a sip. If he’s falling, sip twice or three times.
A squeeze bottle of Gatorade poolside could make it easy to do the frequent carb dosing.
But the challenge might be in BG testing. Hopefully your Dex is more up to date than mine!