Temporary Basals

So I’m curious as to what people set as temp basals before their exercise…I’m new to the exercise phenomenon – which is another way of saying i’m lazy – but I have started cycling this summer. I have not, however, been on my bike since I started pumping 2 weeks ago. I’m afraid of the whole BG ordeal since I’m not quite settled into my basals yet. Also, what’s your routine in terms of carbs before/during/after? I typically ride 2 hours right now, about 24 miles.

Hey Kimberly,
Glad to hear you’re discovering the joys of both pumping and cycling! I just got into cycling a few months ago and it’s definitely tricky trying to keep the BG in balance. You are going to be really glad you got the pump. There’s always going to be some guesswork involved, but I think it makes SUCH a difference, especially when you bring exercise into the equation.

Congratulations on the pump! what kind did you get, and how are you liking it? I got my first pump 6 years ago and it took some getting used to - but now I don’t know how i managed without it.

So I’m definitely a newbie to cycling, but here are a few interesting things I’ve noticed so far:

  • I started having fewer fluctuations in my BG when i started riding at least 4-5 days per week as opposed to 2 or 3, even if just for 20 minutes. When I was riding sporadically things were pretty unpredictable.

  • Sometimes basal rates don’t need to go down… I dropped mine a bit when I exercised hoping to keep my BGs from creeping down as I rode, and I found them shooting into the 300s instead. Anaerobic exercise does interesting things to your BG, apparently (I posted an interesting article about this in the forum if you’re up for a little light reading). I have had pretty good luck so far sticking with my regular basals when I ride - sometimes I’ll do a temp basal or suspend the pump if I go low and stay there, and a few times I’ve actually done about 125% of my regular basal when I’m going anaerobic a lot - but generally I find it balances out quite well as long as I eat (see next point).

  • I do best when I eat pretty much the entire time I’m riding. I personally like Gu and Shot Bloks because I don’t have to stop pedaling to eat them, but everyone’s got their own thing - i’m sure there are a lot of great suggestions to be had on this board! I like to make sure I’m above 100 when I start riding and I’ll start out with about 25-30 carbs 15 min before I get on the bike and eat at least 30-60 carbs per hour depending on where my BG is. Sports drink in the H2O bottle is definitely a must also.

Good luck with your riding - let us know how it’s going! Sounds like you’re getting some good distance in already :slight_smile:

Hi Kimberly,

RE: basals, here’s what I do:

Any exercise in the AM, I don’t reduce my basal rate at all. I’m just not sensitive to insulin. Other times of the day, I don’t wear my pump to exercise and for intense workouts, will reduce the basal rate 50% in the hour after the workout.

For long races (like half marathons), I might need to reduce basals for six hours or more afterward.

RE: carbs - In the AM, I’ll take 25g. of carbs per hour. The rest of the day, I take 40g for the first hour, and about 25g each hour thereafter.


I have been mt biking for 16 years, raced for about 7 years but quit that @ 2 years ago. I have been on the pump for 6 months.
I try to ride weds, fri afternoons and sunday mornings, most rides are 2 - 3 hours with a couple a month of 3- 5 hours
For me 75% temp set for the time I think the ride will last, works fine.
I have a Clif Shot ( 25 carbs) 10 min before I start, then Clif Bloks (2 bloks = 8 carbs)every 45 - 60 min and on the long rides a clif bar (25 carbs) at the 1/2 way point
I bolus for the carbs as I eat but at about 90% of what my minimed wizard says
keep up the biking and keep pleanty of quick carbs with you


Hi Kimberly! Congrats on your decision to start cycling. I’m not cycling, but training for a 1/2 marathon in November (and another in December if that goes OK). Here’s what I have found generally works well for me:

~ Cut basal rate in 1/2 for two hours starting 1 hour before my run.
~ Start with a BG ranging from 140 to 180. If above that, bolus 1/3 to 1/2 of normal correction. If below that, eat enough carbs to (hopefully) put BG in that range.
~ I try to test mid-run just to make sure I’m not dropping too fast, and always carry glucose tabs with me just in case. Need to switch to something less dry!
~ So far, runs are up to about an hour, so I don’t take gels, etc. Going to have to experiment with them soon though. That should be “interesting”.
~ I typically eat and use my normal (or a little light) bolus ratio within a couple of hours of finishing a run.

I have found that the newer I am to a particular exercise, the faster my BG tends to drop. As my body gets used to it, I seem to be able to tolerate a little more insulin.

Another guy in my running club is a T1 pumper. He’s done several full marathons. He totally disconnects from his pump while running. I don’t know what his #"s look like before and after, but if it gets him through 26.2 miles, he must be doing something right!

Hope this helps. Let us know of your experiences so we can learn from each other!

Good luck with that! I just can’t seem to make running work for me, hence the bicycle. I’ve not been on my bike yet, but did some serious hiking in the past several weeks. What ended up working best was not bolusing for 15 of by breakfast carbs (basically putting me in the 150-180 range) and reducing my basal by 40% which still left me on the low side, but 50% didn’t give me enough insulin. Unfortunately, I seem unable to reduce by 45% which I think would be the best solution. What kind of pump do you use?

By the way, a good friend of mine in college was from Grapevine; I’m a Houston girl. Have you had problems with the flooding (and thus, the running)?

I really dont know how i can get away with this…

i decrease my basals to 10% and then disconnect (so im not wasting insulin while im detached), 45 minutes after i drink a soy protein shake and adjust the basals up to 50% for 4 hours. i workout at night before bed and i wake up in the 90s