Newly Diagnosed Runner

I am 31 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 in the beginning of January. About 3 years ago I started running and fell in love with it. I lost almost 40 pounds between working out and eating a clean diet. I ran my first marathon in October and was feeling great. To say the diagnoses was a shock is an understatement... to me AND my friends and family (if I had a nickel for every time I've heard "But you're so healthy" I could retire right now). Anyway, I still plan on running and was hoping that there were some runners out there that I could talk to for information/advice.

I love running too and had the same concerns you are experiencing when I was first diagnosed. But do not fear, your running days are surely not over. It takes a little more planning (testing often and figuring out what your sugars do before, during and after runs.) I ran my first marathon a year and a half ago ( three years after my initial diagnosis) and it went beautifully. I just made sure during my training to take note of blood sugar trends during my longer runs. There is a group here called Diabetics Who Run Marathons and I highly suggest you join. There is a lot of great advice on that board from many experienced T1 runners. They helped me a lot during my training for my first marathon (as I trained myself). Plus, I made some great friends who I've actually come to run other races with! Since you are newly diagnosed and may still be in the honeymoon phase, I would wait just a bit until I figured out how your diabetes affects you. As we all know, it behaves differently for all of us. Once you feel on an even keel with that you can do everything you always have!!

Not a runner (cyclist here), but there is nothing stopping us from doing anything, or anything better than those others out there. From my stand point, we have some major advantages over them. We know control, we know a lot more about what's going into us, and what effects (ok this part usually takes lots of trial and error to learn) it has on us and our performance. But we can mix it with the best of them :)

Hold tight --- Acidrock will be here shortly :-)

I'd put him at the top of the heap here in experience with T1 and running.

That said, while I'm guessing this whole thing has been like a cruise missle to the head, there isn't anything that should get in the way of you continuing your running passion. I would say, though, for someone physically active considering an insulin pump should be at the top of your list.

With shots, you can't "turn down" your basal insulin (I'm assuming they've put you on a long-acting basal insulin, and a short-acting for meal and correction boluses? Possibly not if your in the early phase of LADA honeymoon...). Exercise can make you go hypo if you don't have the ability to adjust your basal insulin during exercise. To counter this, you have to eat, which works against part of what you're trying to accomplish with the running!

If the terminology above has your head spinning a bit, that's to be expected for a new diabetic. Poke around the site, and you'll come up to speed very quickly.

Bottom line: Diabetes won't disable you from pretty much anything if you don't let it.

I too was diagnosed as an adult with T1 and am an avid runner. I've learned that there is nothing you can't do - it just requires some planning and tools. I've found the Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor and the Omnipod pump invaluable for all my activities. The CGM gives me a real-time read to what my glucose is doing and I can adjust the pump accordingly as well. The only other thing I pack is a roll of glucose tablets, just in case, and I'm good to go.

As is the case of many on this site, I take great pride in being in better health and shape than almost all of the non-diabetics around me.

hi! ive been t1 for 2 1/2 years now and while im not a marathoner, i do my 5 and ten ks and mud runs without many problems. im on mdi and and supersensitive to insulin. reiterating what everyone here has said, diabetes wont stop you, just requires a bit more finesse and attention to detail!

I was dxd with T1 as an adult, 3 years age. I have always worked out and been in shape and that did not change with T1. I do weight training, run and mostly swim. I am also on MDI and it has worked well for me so far (but I'm a swimmer). You will have to do a bit of planning, experimenting and be ready for the unexpected. Probably the most important thing I learned is that no matter how careful your planning is, as a T1 our bg numbers sometimes have a mind of their own. Not the end of the world if you are prepared. There are lots of T1 runners here you will get all the help and support you need! Have Fun Running!

Thanks Dave however Jerry Nairn (50+ marathons...), Missy Foy (competitive ultras, etc. LINKto her blog...), etc. are way ahead of me. A lot of the DWRM folks are faster than I am too. Running with diabetes is just as good for you, maybe better than running is to "straight" people who need to exercise just as much as we do. Diabetes is a lot more challenging.

I have totally embraced the tech side of things. I got a pump to help me get through tough Tae Kwon Do classes I was involved in and for which I started running in 2008. The pump made a lightbulb go on in my head and everything really fell into place diabeteswise and otherwise. I had to move for work and stopped martial arts but moved where there were a lot of trails and kept running. I eventually tried 1/2s and got a CGM like a week before the first one I ran. Unfortunately, it fell out about 3 miles in but I finished anyway. If I pull over (walk) to test, people are always going "you can do it, keep going!" but then I pull out my meter to test and they shut up.

Jerry clued me in to Raceready shorts. They have a mesh pocket that will hold a one touch UltraMini meter for 26.2 miles (I've only done that twice...) and have a bunch of other pockets to stash keys, carbs, etc. in.

Generally, I find that 8-15G of carbs will take me about 3 miles. This is a bit light perhaps to some of the other published recommendations but I run at night and come home and drink beer and make dinner or whatever a lot of times so it doesn't phase me to run down to 60-70 by the end of a training run. Longer runs are more interesting, I try to get to 120 and lug carbs along and have some as I roll along. I've trained with a group (the local running store was determined to be #1 in the country last year and has a great group...) and they pretty much suggest that everyone lug some carbs along so I feel like I'm sort of cheating with the CGM because I know more precisely when I need them, although I try to hit them regularly to avoid needing them too much. The main important thing is to bring a meter and test to see how your BG reacts as you run 12-16-20 mile runs. We do out and backs on trails but it's in the suburbs so we hit lights and I'll just test to see how things are going and make sure the CGM is reading correctly.

I've seen people drop at both of the marathons I ran and seen people puke at 5Ks I dunno if any of them had diabetes or not but I figure if I'm not puking or passing out, I'm doing ok. I'd say that if you've stopped, get back in the saddle and, if you haven't, keep going!

...but I figure if I'm not puking or passing out, I'm doing ok.
This is pretty much my daily BG management strategy.


Hi Mandark61: You can keep running! In fact, of course, it is completely awesome for both your mental and physical health. Yes, you do need to take more precautions and do some advance planning (I wear a runner's waistpack with glucose gel, my business card, and some money). It's also a good idea to wear a MedicAlert ID if you don't already have one. I do find it easier to exercise with my insulin pump--I just turn my pump way down well before exercise, so I don't have to take in too many extra carbs to turn up the volume.

Let us know your questions!

I agree that its good for my physical AND mental health... I am a much calmer, focused and pleasant person when I've had a workout in the morning. :)

Thanks! I have been running since my diagnosis. Not up to where I was before the diagnosis but slowly getting there. I have an appointment with my endo next month and we are going to discuss my options regarding monitors/pumps (had to work out some stuff with my insurance company first.) Thanks for all the info. It feels a bit like starting from the beginiing. But I am doing my best to keep looking forward. And running helps me stay positive.

Thanks everyone for all the info and support. Its been a crazy two months and I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed. Although I have a fantastic support system with friends and family it helps to have people to talk to who are going through it.