Has any one run a marathon ? i went and watched a friend of mine wothout diabetes run the Brighton Marathon today and i would be very temted to try 1 ! any recomendations as i’m Type 1 and have been for 2 and a half months…

Don’t let diabetes hold you back. I was diagnosed 9 years ago at age 32. I completed my 5th in two years last week.
You can do it if you want to. You just have to make sure you control your BS.
You will have to learn for your self what works and what doesn’t. It may take time but it’s worth it.

Good luck and keep us posted

Why not start with something shorter like a a 5k or 10k? Then work your way up to a marathon. It might be more enjoyable that way. Giving you a chance to work out your BS management. Good Luck.

Hi, Mike,
It looks like there’s a scrambled URL in your message here. Is that your blog? If it is, I’d love to check it out. Could you repost?
Five marathons in two years isn’t bad.

The answer to that question, has anyone run a marathon, is decidedly yes.
There’s a group here on tudiabetes “diabetics who run marathons.” Feel free to join and ask questions there.
Mike is both right and wrong when he says you have learn for yourself. We’re all different, but we’re all the same in a lot of ways, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t get advice from other people with diabetes who have run marathons.
I’ve been type 1 for 36 years, and I ran my first marathon at the age of 39 in 1998. I’ve run over 55 marathons and ultra marathons since. I’m a member of a club, Marathon Maniacs, who run more marathons than a lot of people would think is sane. Mike may be a candidate to join.
jljr has a point about trying some other races first before a marathon, but you haven’t really said what your running background is.
You may want to check out Missy Foy’s web site. She is a type 1 diabetic and a professional runner, a marathoner and ultra marathoner, way faster than I ever hope to be.
I also recommend the diabetic running group, Glucomotive.
You may want to look at my blog. It has some accounts of some racing I’ve done, and probably more importantly, has links to dozens of other diabetic athletes’ blogs.

I run six marathons with diabetes… First try to run few halfmarathons too see how is your bloodsugar going… Recomendation is nearly the same as for healty individuals. Just measuring, measuring you bloodsugar and everthying will be ok! Everything is in your head!

Here’s the link

I’ve done four marathons, ten half marathons, and dozens of other races. My few recommendations that I can think of quckly now: always run with glucose/gels/tablets, etc. (obvious I know, but I sometimes think I don’t need them and/or will forget and that’s when I usually do need them); start out with low distance and gradually build over time (this also helps you see how your BS levels will respond to running); my BS is more stable if I run when I haven’t given an insulin bolus recently (otherwise I have a tendency to drop); for longer runs I find I need ~20 carbs maybe like every 30 mins or so (so either carry enough carbs for you to have plus some to spare, or plan your route so you have carbs along the way … for example, I would keep Gatorade in my car, run out and back 30 mins to my car for Gatorade, and keep doing as long as I wanted); run with other people if you can; and lastly, don’t let diabtetes prevent you from doing it! Just be prepared.

Thanks very much everyone, this website is so helpful its ridculous !!! thanks again !

It’s better and safer to run a marathon with a lot of miles under your shoes. You will also enjoy it much more and probably do better.

I haven’t run any full marathons but I like the idea of running shorter races first, if only to get used to running in the morning. I loathe running first thing in the morning and make modifications to my schedule on race days and am glad I practiced w/ some 5Ks before getting out in a crowd of 15000 people? I’ve signed up for a marathon (Chicago) in October so I’ll have a while to practice but have another 1/2 this weekend that I’m really looking forward to. I don’t “compete” with anyone but maybe my Garmin but I always have fun running in races. It was a good feeling to run by people keeling over in hosta beds and being carted away in golf carts b/c they didn’t pay attention to their BG and got gassed 10 miles into the last 1/2 marathon I ran. I think that paying attention to your BG may be a slight advantage for longer runs? It’s probably totally washed out by the tediousness of lugging meters & snacks along but knowing your body like you can with daibetes can be useful?

Two marathons and five half marathons since diagnosis in 2001. You can do it too.

As others have said, watch for low bgs and start slow.

Good luck !


Hey, can I add a more specific question? When you’re going for long runs, do you bolus for the gels etc. that you eat?

I used to run long-ish trail races (8-25 miles) a couple of years ago (pre-dx). Now my “long run” is back up to ~5 miles. Pre-D, I wouldn’t have eaten anything while running that distance, just maybe gatotrade after. Now, my rule for the five-miler is basically
– turn down the basal to 50% if I have active insulin from a bolus
– eat roughly 1 skittle per mile or so

But that won’t fly for genuinely long runs – you know, the ones where “normal people” have to eat shot bloks and gels and whatnot. Advice?

I do not bolus during a run, even for the gels. You need to keep your energy up. The exercise will use up the carbs you ingest. Our need to eat while we run for distance is not different than non-diabetics. Our greater risk is going too low, not ingesting too much carbs. Everyone needs to find their own balance and fine tune along the way.

If one skittle/mile keeps your bg in range then good on you!

There are lots of threads here on the subject so look around. The most cited resource is Sheri Colberg’s book “the diabetic athlete.”. Also see “Pumping Insulin” by John Walsh.


I take 1 unit of Novalog along with my regular dose of Levemir before doing my regular Sunday run (12-14 miles). I take 1 GU gel before running and use concentrated Gatorade at about 1 hour (equals about 15 gms of carbs). My bs is usually around 130 when I’m done.I think you need some insulin to convert the carbs to usuable fuel. If I don’t taken any Novalog my bs is usually around 200 when I finish.


I would be happy to help you in any way I can. First of all I would try not to have very little insulin in my body when starting to excercise. If I have just bolused I wait at least 3 hours before I try to run. Also, always carry your glucose monitor with you and food reserves in case your blood sugar drops. I carry PowerBar; Powergels with me. They have 27 carbs in each pack and will bring your BS up quickly. I turn my basal down to about 5% on my pump and usually start out with my BS around 200+, depending on how far I will run. I check my BS about every 5 miles or so depending on how I am feeling. I also have information on my website to share. Good Luck and let me know how I can help in any way!

All the best,

As you can see from the responses so far, there are a lot of different ways to handle this. It takes experimentation, and you have to keep in mind that what you did the day before may be significant, your requirements may change as you get into better shape, etc.
The answer to the question about whether or not to bolus is that you either need to bolus or have your basal high enough to compensate for not bolusing. The amount you would bolus would be reduced, so your basal probably still wouldn’t be at 100% if you went with adjusting your basal. I find that if I reduce my basal by about 25%, I can eat a gel w/27 g of carb every 45 minutes or so.
Good luck!

Thanks – this is really helpful, the links too. I have learned to watch out for IOB. And my basal is really low right now, so I may have less trouble with lows than others do. As my distances get longer, I’ll start to experiment with bolusing-and-not for gels. Maybe I’ll try not bolusing on a run where I’ll have 1 gel. 1 gel couldn’t kick me THAT high anyway.

I checked out your blog, Jerry – I’m an ex-Arizonan… the folks still live in Glendale.

I’d add that a lot of the gels are 25G of carbs (at least the ones I have left from my last race…I didn’t need them but was unable to pass up free carbs so I lugged them in my sleeves…) and I’ve noticed that I can feel better with 2x smaller doses split up than one huge dose that can jack me up? The jelly beans are handy for this, I can get a bag of Starburst Jelly beans (also super yummy…) for like $3.99 and portion it into the little ziploc bags (.99/ 100@ Hobby Lobby…) in like 20G packets and eat about 1/2 of one every 3 miles or so and have a really nice result. I am not sure how practical half consumed gels are to lug around but I suspect they could get messy?

Yeah, this was pretty much the conclusion I was coming to. Smaller more frequent doses of carbs without bolusing is probably the way to go, for me, for now. (I did 7 hilly miles yesterday, finishing BS 110!) I like the portable, nonmessy things that have electrolytes as well as sugar: jelly belly’s sports beans and sharkies are the ones I know about so far. (Cliff’s shot bloks are too sticky to leave open – not as bad as gels, but still.)