Sports and "The Pump"

I’m wondering what folks do with their pumps when they participate in sports. I realize that the actual sport may determine whether or not people choose to leave it on or remove it depending on the intensity or duration of the activity.

Our 12 year old son, Matthew, is very active playing year round lacrosse (and basketball and soccer when they’re in season). He also dreams of being the youngest person to make the TT1 team…

For contact sports like lacrosse and football, are people removing their pumps? If not, where are they wearing it to protect it? For cycling, are people leaving it on and throttling back on the basal rate. Or is everybody taking them off and doing occasional blood checks to keep their numbers in check and bolusing as required?

Thanks in advance,


For bike rides I suspend the pump, while downhill skiing I reduce the basal by ~70%, & while backcountry skiing (aka slogging uphill before going down) I also suspend the pump. While rock climbing I usually don’t have to adjust my basal rate, unless I’m planning to be on a climb all day. In those cases I check my blood sugar periodically & adjust as needed.

Is there a Lexan case for the 722, and if so where can I find it?

I agree with Dave. You probably should not suspend the basal. Just reduce it. The body never suspends it’s need for insulin. It is much easier to remain level if you keep a reduced basal.

After going to a seminar for diabetics in sports where a keynote speaker was from the Colorado University School of Sports Medicine, I take this approach - simplified here:

Reduce your basal rate 30 minutes prior to exercise. If exercise exceeds 90 minutes take in 35 grams carb. every 45 minutes. take in 20 oz water per hour. Make sure to take in 35-50 grams carb immediately after exercise. Balance with protein. Bolus 1/2 normal.

Remember, anaerobic exercise usually increases BG levels, aerobic decreases BG levels.

Chris - keep Matthew exercising. Buy that kid a new bike for the holidays! His goal of being on TT1 is awesome. This is just about the age Lance Armstrong took to cycling (along with running and swimming).

Check out this article. I believe NHL hockey’s Toby Petersen wears his pump tucked inside his belt, dead square center in front. As a cyclist, you can wear them anywhere. Nice bib shorts actually have a pocket for race radios that is excellent to slip your pump into. Not necessary, but handy.

Great information guys, thanks. Ski season is upon us here in CO so I will try out your suggestions/methods.

Thanks for the info, Dave. Our son is on the 722 right now but we’ll keep checking the MM store in case they decide to roll out a Lexan case for it.

Lots of great info, Joe. I think we’re going to give the “reduce basal by 50% 30 mins prior” routine a chance this weekend and see how it goes.

In the past, when he’s had a practice or a game lasting no more than an hour and is going to be doing a lot of running, we have typically backed off about .4 on his pre-practice/game snack bolus and then remove the pump. That has worked well for us.

We start to run into problems w/highs at tournaments etc. even though we have him re-attach the pump and check his BG between games. I like your point re the body never suspending its need for insulin. Keeping him hooked up and throttling back on the basal makes perfect sense. We just didn’t know where to start.

Thanks also for providing the Toby Petersen link. Also interesting that Jay Cutler is T1. I’ll be sure to have Matt read it. We’ve always thought it important to show him that having T1 is no reason to stop him from doing whatever he wants to do. In fact, he has grown up wanting to do things better than his peers, to show them that having diabetes doesn’t make him “weaker” and them any better.

Re getting him a new bike - bought him a new Kona a few months ago which he loves.

Have a great Thanksgiving and thanks again.


what do you guys do to keep the infusion set from being ripped out during contact sports.

i recently had this happen to me during basketball practice.

i take mine off. i’ve gone two hours with no problems during basketball. but the games were vigorous and high tempo … former college players and such so you’re burning lots of energy. i also ref college and elite soccer, which means 5-7 miles of hard running if i’m CR. i often have five or more games in a day. in that case, i keep the pump on, running as usual. i’ve never changed my basal in 10 years nor have i ever used temp basal.
it’s all very personal. so … try different approaches and figure out what works best. there’s no ``one answer’’ because there are so many variables.