Few Simple and Basic Tips to Diabetically Run Safely

What you should do if you are a diabetic Type 1 runner to train in safety:

  1. Get your doctor clearance: inform your endocrinologist about your purpose of long distance running. He will make sure you are able to run without danger and he will certainly adjust your diet and insulin doses to match them with your new physical activity.
  2. Always test blood sugar level before and after training: it is absolutely important to exactly know your blood sugar level before a running session. It is in fact very dangerous to start training if you are in hypoglycemia without being aware of it. In the case you have low blood sugar level just have a snack, wait, and retest before starting training. Once the session ended make the blood test to prevent any sugar level problem that may follow an intense endurance effort.
  3. Eat carbohydrates in the meal previous training: very important to stock glycogen in your liver.
  4. Train once insulin effect expired: this will prevent hypoglycemia danger during running.
  5. Always carry in your pocket sugar or glucose gels: this is the holy rule for a diabetic type 1 runner. Observing it could clearly save your life. In case of hypoglycemia while you are running just stop training, have a sit, and eat sugar doses you are bringing with you. After that you will have to wait, test blood sugar level, and refill yours glucose stock before start again training.
  6. Always inform somebody you are going out for a run and where you are going to run: people around you should be aware about your diabetes and they should know all troubles connected with it. In case of any problem they could immediately understand the situation and help you. Even better: always run with somebody and make sure he/her knows about your diabetes.
  7. Begin gradually to train: in doing this you will progressively improve your health and fitness conditions and you will better understand how to manage your blood sugar level under effort. Do not start to train for a marathon at once, just improve your mileage step by step.
  8. Keep a training log: write down your mileage improvements and record blood sugar levels readings.
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6 Responses to Few Simple and Basic Tips to Diabetically Run Safely

  1. lovehatediabetes says:

    When I was in high school, my doctor always told me, “its okay to be 200 or so while you’re playing hockey”. He would rather me be a little bit “high” than to be low and risk major hypoglycemia. I now realize, after creating this blog, that it’s not really the right thing to do.
    So, what levels do you run at?

    • Insulin Runner says:

      The best would always be doing sports in perfect glycemic situation: 80/120 mg/dl. Anyhow from my personal experience is certainly less risky moderately high sugar than low.
      Now I am training for a Half Marathon race… in two weeks I will be on the starting line. Can’t wait!
      I really like your blog 🙂

      • lovehatediabetes says:

        Thank you! I certainly can’t wait to read more from you also 🙂

  2. Victor L. says:

    I am a type 2 diabetic myself but I have kinda got a hang of how the sugars work in my system. Going hypo is dangerous. If it gets too low, your body won’t have enough energy to process the gel or sugar pack you just swallowed. When you start training, have a decent meal about an hour or two before. You should not eat till you are stuffed. Eat moderate. You training and food intake should be consistent.
    If you are just starting off, take it easy and increase your speed or distance on a weekly basis. Do not increase both at the same time. It is most important to enjoy your run and not suffer afterwards.

  3. Personally now that I’m on the pump and can reduce my basal I’ll go out at 120 or so, but I have no qualms being at 160-180 before a run. I find I’m nearly always that high before a race due to the excitement!

    One more point I would add to you excellent list: always wear identification listing you as an insulin dependent diabetic.

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