Running and Type 1

Is there a good way to manage type 1 while exercising? I tend to let my sugars go really high before exercise and I know this probably isn’t the greatest thing for me. If I eat while I’m running I tend to throw up. Any suggestions help!

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How long are you exercising and how hard?

Are you using MDIs or are you on a pump?

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I use a pump and eat moderate carb (100 or so grams a day). I check my sugar a little bit before the run / exercise , eat a snack (milk, granola bar) , do a temp basal @ 50% for two hours OR disconnect the pump, then run for 30 minutes to an hour and recheck a little bit after.


I would start by trying a much lower basal. I usually drop my basal to 30-35% for 2 hours.The snack is the right idea. I’ve found that cutting my meal-before-exercise bolus is usually not successful and I end up going high.

I would suggest trying a Super Bolus. Do you know what that is?

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you are right, you shouldn’t exercise with high blood sugars. The upper limit is about 250/13.9

I lower my basal to 50% 2 hours before I start exercising. I don’t need to eat anything before my workout. I also try to have no insulin-on-board when I start. (That means, I have not bolused for four hours or more. This work pretty well for me, and I don’t go high in those two hours before exercise.

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In addition to lowering your basals 2 hours before exercise, do you lower them or disconnect during and/or after exercise?

Yes, I set my temp basal for 50% for 3 hours; my workout is usually one hour. I watch carefully afterwards, I occasionally will be a low after exercise, but usually I am pretty good.

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What I’ll often do is a super bolus. I eat just before I start the walk–here’s how I figure out what to bolus.

Bolus for the meal + basal for the next two hours x .7 or .65 = super bolus

Let’s say 6.0 + 1.2= 7.2 x .65 = 4.65

AND I set my basal to 0 for the next two hours!

Here’s where it gets tricky. I always have to eat something when I exercise for more than 20 minutes. If I keep my fast pace, I probably won’t bolus for the snacks, which, for this walk, would probably be two balance bars (44 grams of carbs).

Frankly, I’m so unusual in my non-low-carb diet and high metabolism, that the only thing I would take from this super bolus is that the idea of it is to not get burned by your basal after you exercise.

Now when you try any of this, you have to figure out what’s right for you. If nothing else, start by lowering your basal more than 50%. Try lower than you think is right, because the idea is to exercise and NOT go low.

I don’t know what to do about your proclivity to urp if eating while exercising. MY big puzzle is sort of parallel. When I play bass trombone at a gig, I use a lot of energy, and I usually don’t have enough time to eat between sets every time. A gig can be two to three hours of blowing at lot of air through my horn.

Of course, carry what you need to treat a low and some snacks. Don’t be a hero. (We don’t need another hero). Expect to fail as you experiment. The goal is to figure out how to do it. A negative result will still teach you something.

have you thought about going ketogenic?

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sounds good. being able to do that is the beautiful thing about using a pump. i remember a lot of 350 to 55 days with MDI.

this is really interesting. i really want to do this but where do i fit in chocolate?

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80% cocoa is low carb chocolate :slight_smile:

yeah, mine is 85%.

Thank you for all the suggestions. I am not currently on a pump because the site irritates me while I’m running, so I’ve gone back to the pens for now. I talked with my endocrinologist and she helped me out so now I’ll be consuming lots of Gatorade.:slight_smile:

I could use some advice. I run 5-6 miles three times a week. Normally I reduce to a temp basal rate 1.5 hours in advance, have a light breakfast, and then head out. My BG at the beginning is 140-150 and then by the end of the run it has gently reduced to 80-90 and the rest of the day is great.

The last two days, following the exact same routine, including food, at the start of the run my BG (according to CGM) spiked to 250 almost instantly and then just as quick started to drop. I confirmed with a finger stick that a spike was indeed happening. At the end I am around 80-90.

Is there a way to better manage the spike? Any ideas why? Or just one of those diabetes “things”.

I’ve found it’s one of those diabetes things. My sugars do the same.

I get that too if I’m doing intense exercise. It’s the liver dumping glucose, which in a non-diabetic does indeed make for useful fuel. In a diabetic, the exercise often allows us to utilize it eventually, but it can be tricky, especially for intense but short workouts (sometimes for me, those actually require more insulin, not less, for that reason). I’ve found that lower grade but longer workouts avoid the spike and are more consistent in having only the lowering effect on glucose.

I really appreciate my liver, don’t get me wrong, but it feels like a lot of times it’s all “Hey, look, I’m helping!! Have some glucose! Glucose fixes everything! Stress, infections, sleepy mornings, running faster, EVERYTHING! Enjoy!!!” when it’s like ugh thanks but no… not actually helpful at all ha.


I run and put myself down to 20-25% basal 30 mins- q HR before. Start at 90 to 140. at 140 I can do 20 to 30 mins at a normal pace and end 80s. If I start lower I eat some grapes/berries or about 10 grams carbs for 20-30 mins at a comfortable pace. If I push a pace I go up. If I am in a group my bags go up or doing some race setting (even though I am solidly in the Middle and would never win) I go up in BG. If I do longer runs - even with 20% basal I need to do a blood check every 10-20 mins and carry and take carbs. 6 miles = 50g carbs and longer equals more carbs, but keep checking every 10-20 mins with finger BG check - Dexcom 5 does NOT keep up! When I do a 1/2’marathon over mile 8 I may go up for unknown reasons. In any case, before diabetes I thought I was awesome for every run and now with type one I am certain!