Couch to 5K
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Type 1 diabetes - blood glucose before running matters soooo much

Type 1 diabetes - blood glucose before running matters soooo much

Hi there, I’ve made it to Week 7, Run 2 before posting but have devoured the advice here and enjoyed reading posts. I’m amazed I can run and generally set & end MapMyRun when I set off/finish the 5 min walk so avg 9km ph. Two days ago, setting off with a bg around 7.8, I set MapMyRun just for the 25 min segment and did 3.45km with avg pace 7.10. Elated, esp as it’s so hot. Today with blood sugars hovering at around 11, sameish route, temperature, and excited about new trainers, I only managed 2.74km at 9.15 avg.

I sort of understand the theory for runners with type 1 diabetes but any tips or links that have helped other diabetic C25kers would be much appreciated. x

PS posting pic for the running shoe fetishists!

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Hello Helenlea, I am also a Type 1 diabetic, I agree with you regular checking of blood glucose levels is very important and I much prefer for my levels to be 10+ before I start a 25-30 minute run, I find they have reduced immediately after the run and continue to reduce for the next few hours. There is also a sort of honeymoon period, after a run, where I appear to become much more insulin sensitive and I need to reduce the amount I inject. I am now on week 8 and once graduated I intend to continue on to work towards running 10K, I haven't worked out yet how I will managed my blood glucose levels as going low during a run is obviously dangerous and exhausting, also not sure how I will take my testing kit with me as well!

What did you mean with your original post, you say that you ran 3.45km with avg pace 7.10 which you were elated with, but then 2.74km at 9.15 avg, it seems to read as if you ran less but with a faster pace...? Is it just the wrong way round?

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Hi Visionon, thanks it's good to hear that there are other Type 1s crazy (motivated) enough to try Couch to 5k too. All of my runs to date have started with around 7 to 8.5 bg so far so I did notice the difference starting higher yesterday. The day I started with a 6 resulted in a drastic drop so I had to abort the run and hit the jelly babies. I'm on an insulin pump and while I'm doing the programme and trying to train my legs into submission I've been removing it so there's one less thing to worry about. The result is that depending on the time of day I run, I either return home with a steady bg, a drop, or an increase so at the moment I'm just trying to track these patterns so when I graduate, I can leave the pump attached and adjust my basal rate accordingly. So much science involved! Re the stats, I've rechecked and was referring to speed rather than pace so my earlier run was def faster and longer. I agree with telford_mike and think dehydration played a part in yesterday's run. I'm going to proactively try to drink more today in prep for tomorrow or Sunday when I'll tackle Run3. Good luck with your running & levels :)

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Yeah in general it really does help the diabetes control, however, this morning I woke up feeling a bit groggy and my blood glucose level was 16.7!!! No reason for it at all, when I went to bed it was 7.5. As well as the science, there is an awful lot of mystery as well, a massive balancing act!

I have considered an insulin pump but never wanted a needle permanently in me, just put me off!

Luckily at the moment I have good sensation and can tell when my blood glucose level dips below 4, but whether I could do that on a run is another matter. I think when I take on longer runs, I will have to temporarily stop and test, which is a pain, but better to be safe than sorry.

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There's always been an element of mystery with my night rises too! And re stopping to test, always better safe than sorry. I find sometimes if I'm focusing on a task I can dip down past 4 and not realise until I stop that concentration. On most occasions the hypo signs alert me as they should.

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Hi, performance will decrease the higher your BG goes, although 11 isn’t exactly catastrophic. That's why Steve Redgrave has a nutritionalist on hand 24/7 (his wife). Are you sure though that there isn’t another factor though? Hydration would be my guess (but it's just a guess). The higher your BG when you set off, the more quickly you will become dehydrated.

Do you use a flash metering system or CGM that can measure your BG as you run?

Interesting article here: diabetes.co.uk/sport/runnin...

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Hello telford_mike, Yes I agree, if blood glucose levels start to get to 15+ then performance will drop off. Hydration does become a factor if blood glucose levels are high, as the body tries to get rid of the excess glucose by making you urinate constantly, this doesn't happen though if blood glucose levels are only temporarily high. Unfortunately I do not use either flash or CGM monitoring, I have to prick my finger, draw some blood and put that into a test strip inserted into a meter, not something easily done whilst running... I have asked about FreeStyle Libre (Flash Glucose monitoring), but it is not free on the NHS in my county and is quite expensive.

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Visionon, the Libre or similar, if you get a chance to have a trial, is well worth it. It's a glimpse of how much easier management of diabetes could be in the future but sadly it's frustratingly out of our grasp at this time. I loved seeing the little arrow next tto the BG indicating that levels were dropping or rising, rather than it being a static number result.

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Yeah knowing that trend is really useful information.

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Thanks telford_mike for the link - I'll have a read today. Are you Type 1 by any chance too? I probably was a bit dehydrated for yesterday's run so will make sure I am consistent in my drinking from now on while it's so hot.

I've had a trial of the Libre flash which was a great help while walking Scalfell Pike (good challenge to do while trialling a new piece of kit!) and would be brilliant for this running lark, as I'd probably be more confident keeping my insulin pump attached while on a run. However at the mo Freestyle has got a stop on new customer paid orders and despite the sensors being promoted to us as 'available on the NHS' as of Nov last year, my area is flatly refusing to have anything to do with them :(

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Hi Helenlea, I am not the diabetic in our family, but Mrs telford_mike is T1 and she works as a sports instructor so we've learned a little about exercise and how to deal with it over the years. She uses Libre and the Omnipod pump. It's good, but as they always say - “your body is a finely tuned machine - it’s just that nobody actually knows how to tune it”!

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Ah, hello Mrs telford_mike! That's great to hear she uses both - do you know, is the Libre is cmopatible with the Omnipod - or does she still have to use test strips with the handset? Any further tips always much appreciated.

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Libre and Omnipod work completely independently of each other, so still need test strips with the handset, but far fewer than would normally be necessary. The big advantage of the Libre is that the sensor stores 6 hours worth of measurements without the user needing to do anything, so you can see what actually happened during exercise or overnight. It also tells you whether your BG is going up, going up fast, stable, dropping, or dropping fast. Our NHS trust won’t fund the Libre, but it’s so useful that we happily fund it ourselves.

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Thanks also for the link, an interesting read and source of information.

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No diabetes advice but love those shoes. Love the colour, look very comfy and the upper looks nice and cooling.

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Hey Jay66UK thank you! They were so much springier than my old ones which were pretty much 'fashion trainers'.

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Unlike mine, which were “out of fashion” trainers 🤣

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Nice shoooooos! Well done - I know a few people with type 1 but no runners, sorry!

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