Type 1 energy for running (finally got it figured out! :))

Today is a good day because I think that I finally got this Type 1 Diabetes and energy consumption handled.

This is the method that works for me:

First of all I'm currently using the Omnipod. Once I figured out the best place on me to attach these pods, I've been loving them every since.
To me its very important to maintain that basal insulin rate. especially, if you're very physically active. The Medtronic pump is also a good choice but not as convenient as the Omnipod.

Second, Glucose tablets in my opinion are extremely useful for accurately dialing in your ideal BG readings prior to running or any other exercise for that matter.

Okay, here is an example of my preparation for my 2.5 mile run on yesterday:

I ate a small meal between 730-800pm simply because I was hungry.
I took my meal bolus at 8pm.
Between 1030-11pm my BG was a 166.
I ate about 5-6 glucose tablets.
At 1am my BG was 251
Shortly after 1am I ran 2.5 miles and was feeling pretty good about it.
Immediately after the run my BG was a 137 which so happens to be when i started to feel a slight energy drain.
**oh, and my basal rate is a .75/hr by the way**

So that's it!! This is what I learned from this run:

1. Never bolus within 4 hours of strenuous physical exercise!!I would prefer to base my energy consumption off of my basal rate. (easier and more accurate)

2. Use glucose tablets to elevate your blood glucose to allow that energy buffer. Why? Because tablets are accurate and quick to absorb. For me,I don't think that its necessary to elevate more than 250 prior to a 2.5 or 3 mile run. On the other hand If my BG is already at 250 and I haven't Bolused in a few hours. Then obviously the tablets wouldn't be necessary.

3. I learned that my wall was right around 137-140. Therefore for future runs,I want to maintain between 140 and 250 for as long as possible. For my next run, I will probably cut my basal to .25, 3-4 hours prior to exercise. With this reasoning, I should be able to bang out a 3 mile run without any issues.

Like I say, this method works for ME. But I would Imagine that this method would work for any type 1 because the logic is the same no matter who uses it.

IT's great you have the energy to run at interesting hours!

At the same time, the DCCT trial suggested BG > 140 increases your risk of complications. I agree tht it's very possible to bang out 3 mile runs without any issues but, a lot of the time, I bang them out with about 10G of carbs, like a glass of skim milk, rather than 20G of carbs? I used jelly beans for emergencies but have been experimenting with Smarties, which have dextrose so they also work faster. Ideally for me, I get a "predictive high" alert on my CGM like a mile into a 3 miler, as my BG goes up from the pre-run milk, and then a "predicted low" in the "home stretch" as the run burns it off?


Even though you ended up at a good number, this is pretty high.
Have you tried starting at a more moderate number, say 140ish, while at the same time letting a glucose tablet dissolve in your mouth while exercising?

You can set your pump to a much lower basal for exercise too.

Honestly the trailing energy issues (both highs and lows) of running are why I stuck to weight training.
I haven't revisited it since having my CGM either. I think it would be even easier these days.

Those camelpack type backpack things mean you can carry some slightly less nasty tasting options too without having to hold onto a bottle.

Not a big fan of glucose tablets, and I think your teeth will thank you in the long run.

I'm not a runner but have been experimenting to find the appropriate reduced basal rate for me when treadmilling. So far a decrease in basal rate of 30% seems to be a good balance for me - it still results in about a 30 point drop in bg but that's manageable without extreme highs or lows. I try to aim for 120ish before treadmilling so a 30 point drop is right where I need to be.

My endo suggested to me that it's best to exercise during a time when it's been as long as possible since I've had bolus insulin, so that's what I've been doing and that works when my bg has been stable.

I would be interested to know what other people on insulin do as far as their exercise plan on days where there is a need to bolus near the time of the planned exercise as in a late lunch or correction needed?

I really don't want to run high just so I can exercise because I feel like that somewhat defeats the purpose, *for me*. I understand why some people do it and I don't fault them but with the hormone issues I'm having, I don't want to spend any more time high or have big swings than I have to.


I would feel gross-
something I have been preaching on here for a while is I eat mainly fat and protein (but no more than 120-150g prot as this then gets converted into glucose) When I have been diligent and maintained a low carb day (20-50g carbs for the WHOLE day) then I have no issues when running - 2 wks ago I posted on here about a 3 hour run where I left the house with a BS of 69 and had no carbs before leaving- then between hours 1 and 3 I had about 30g carbs from diluted Gatorade came back with a BS that was a little higher than I left (I think it was 120ish, i had no insulin going in during the run, thus the rise) I used to have BS ups and downs until I gave up grains, now no big deal- Monday I ran 8 miles in an hour and had no carbs before and when I got home had some Gatorade (more for electrolytes than carbs because I had to give insulin for the Gatorade)

250 just sounds like your setting your body up for future failure

Acid, this is not a sustained 250BG. I only run it up that high immediately prior to exercise. I am ultra sensitive to insulin when I'm exercising. I've been down as low as 26 BG post exercise (and still walking) And I'm basically trying to figure out how far I can run without having to check a meter. I'm also trying to figure out my min/max for ideal performance. I would Imagine that on a marathon, bringing a meter and other supplies is mandatory. But I believe I can get by on a 3 miler without bringing anything. I hate carrying that stuff!!

Bread, I've tried it all. But like i told acid, I'm unusually sensitive when physically active. I've tried taking glucose during my run but between dropping so fast and the time it takes for the tabs to register atleast 15 minutes, my run is usually over by then. And 250 doesn't bother me. this is not a sustained 250, just for exercise purposes only... and I'm not getting ketones.

I agree I hate carrying stuff! I love to get things set so I can take very minimal junk along. At the same time, I also hate "carrying" a lot of extra BG? As far as "ideal", I'd read that Jay Cutler aims for 130-180 for games and that seems a bit more reasonable targetwise?

I used to figure I'd last until I was maybe 40 however now, at 44, I figure I should try to keep my numbers flatter and not run up and down? I sort of suspect that if you're dropping a ton on a 3 mile run, you might have some leftover bolus insulin or maybe extra basal that's hitting it, along with whatever you burn off running? I think that if you can get rid of that, you would be able to skip the glucose tablets before you run and have a smoother BG experience?

Smile, I guess everybody's different because a 120 during exercise would feel like a wall to me. I'm still trying to figure out my basal rate and the residual effects of my bolus insulin.
today I bolused at 8pm at 11pm my bg was 108. i took 9 glucose tablets and bg'd at 241 right before my 2.5 mile run. At the end of run I was a 124 with a .50/hr basal rate.
I don't want to start any higher than 250. But I'm still dropping too fast. I'm going to research Insulin dumps and use that as another possible way to sustain me without dropping too low or having to stop mid run.

And I agree with your Endo, I think in the future i'm going to consider about 5 hours between bolus and exercise and eat non-carb food in between (like nuts) to fight off hunger pangs.

Well, what am I doing wrong?? How are you guys starting off at 120-150 and able to run for an extended amount of time without carbs and without dropping too low?

and yes, my work hours are 6p-6a so i keep my body on my work schedule even on my off days. Also, i love running at night time. Nice and quiet, no traffic, etc. Almost feels like I have the world to myself :)

You're not doing anything 'wrong'.
You're just getting to the same point via a different route.

You're starting high to end low, so you need to figure out how to maintain a mid point (say 140-180) for a short duration of your workout, and ideally end up around 120 again when you're about done.
You're exercising and not resting so you will need to have your carbs meet your level of calorie expenditure. This is where everyone varies.

When I was working out on Lantus, I had to drink 18 ounces of apple juice on a really hard workout just to maintain a level balance.

The incredible gift the pump gives you in the relatively short duration of the life of the fast acting insulin, hence the rule that you should try to wait 4 or 5 hours after a meal before working out, theory being that you'll be level and only using your basal, simplifying the whole mess that the calculation is.

If you can chart and work out how and when your glucose crashes throughout your workout, you can subsidize and make allowances for it by in-taking the burning quantities through glucose tablets (or whatever).

It's a very fuzzy question and some workouts will end up at a better point that others, but it's absolutely within your abilities to obtain this. Especially as a pump user.

I agree with breaddrink in that you are not doing things wrong--- there is no one way to get that perfect BS and workout together- even when I don’t eat grains and have some awesome workouts - If the day before I had too many carbs before bed (that extra beer with the movie which is a rare indulgence as there is wheat and carbs) but then the next day I find I am burning carbs during my run not fat- then I am groping my way home to eat a clif bar and chug oj or Gatorade- -- man T1 is tough - don’t get down on your self - my Doc even says not to get too caught up in not understanding how your body reacts because EVERYTHING effects your BS - that "little pep talk from your boss" may raise your BS- that extra 20 mins of sleep may drop your BS -or you count your carbs wrong by just a lil in that homemade dish your mom brought over - whatever - when i ate grains some days I would eat the same thing at the same time give the same insulin and get 100 one day and 240 the next - there are no "wrong" things... experimenting with stuff just gives you better and worse not right and wrong

breaddrink and Sick of TYPE 1, both excellent posts. Thank you.