Continuous Glucose Monitoring During a 100-km Race: A Case Study in an Elite Ultramarathon Runner

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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The current case study intended to measure blood glucose fluctuation in 2 marathon runners during a 100-km race using a continuous glucose-monitoring system (CGMS) and investigate the relationship between glucose profile and change in running speed. Two experienced ultramarathon runners participated in this study. A CGMS glucose sensor was inserted into the subcutaneous abdominal tissue at 35 h before the 100-km race, and the glucose profile was monitored continuously until the end of the race. Race pace and energy intake during the race were recorded. Participants finished the race in 6h:51min:17s (runner A) and 8h:56min:04s (runner B), and the race-pace decrement ratios were 17.6% for runner A and 27.2% for runner B. The average relative intensity throughout the 100-km race was 89.9% ± 5.8% lactate threshold (LT) in runner A and 78.4% ± 8.6% LT in runner B. The total amount of carbohydrate intake during the race was 249 g and 366 g in runners A and B, respectively. Despite lower carbohydrate intake, runner A maintained a normal glucose level throughout the race, while runner B rapidly decreased blood glucose and became hypoglycemic after the 80-km point. These results suggest that elite ultramarathon runners may have the ability to prevent a large decrement in blood glucose level regardless of the amount of energy intake during the race to maintain higher relative running intensity.

Sengoku, Ogata, Nabekura, and Tokuyama are with the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan. Nakamura is with the Dept of Food Sciences, Ibaraki Christian University, Hitachi, Japan. Nagasaka is with the Dept of Internal Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Shimotsuke, Japan. Address author correspondence to Yasuo Sengoku at sengoku@taiiku.tsukuba.ac.jp.