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Managing blood sugar levels during a 5 - 10 km run

Discussion in 'Fitness, Exercise and Sport' started by CarerOfType1, May 11, 2016.

  1. CarerOfType1

    CarerOfType1 Don't have diabetes · Member

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    Hello there,

    Can you please share your top 3 - 5 tips for managing blood sugar levels on a 5 - 10 km run.

    My husband was diagnosed with Type 1 in Dec 2015, he is on Levemir (5 units in the morning, 2 in the evening) and NovoRapid (0 - 2 units depending on carb intake) using Freestyle Libre.

    He has gotten back into running and eventually wants to work towards a half or full marathon. In the meantime he is going for 5 - 10km runs 2-3 times per week. He eats lunch at 1pm and goes running at 6pm and eats dinner afterwards. He often comes back home almost in hypo mode. We realise it's quite individual and we've been trying different things but any tips on how he could best manage his blood sugar levels would be appreciated.

    What he has been doing so far:
    • Eats a banana an hour before the run
    • We've just started trialling having a glucose drink right before running
    • Lowering his insulin units for the evening meal - he needs less on the days that he runs, we might try avoiding carbs for dinner on the evenings that he runs (we are not that big on carbs in the evening anyway)
    • Takes glucose tablets with him in the event that he should suddenly need them
    Specifically on the days he goes running:
    • How should he adjust his carb intake?
    • How should he adjust his insulin intake?
    • How to avoid going into a near hypo at the end of the run?
    Thank you in advance
     
  2. GrantGam

    GrantGam Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Adjusting carb intake:

    When I'm running/cycling I know my rough BGL drop over a set period of time. To do this, take a reading before and after a set period, i.e. 30mins at a constant pace. Once you know your BGL drop, you can accommodate this with gel sachets during exercising. These ones work pretty well, but there are loads on the market:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/...gclid=COuVw_aX1MwCFSsz0wodmw4Mig&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Adjusting insulin intake:

    I don't really adjust anything when I excercise. But it's best to avoid exercising during the peak of your fast acting insulin. In other words, it's best not to go out 1-3hrs after taking Novorapid insulin (this is what I'm on but you may use a different insulin so check the leaflet supplied). I tend to have maybe a 30g carb breakfast and not take any insulin if I'm going out shortly after. This will save you on gel sachets also. Carbing up is a good way to avoid hypos when exercising, but carb up too much and you'll run the risk of developing ketones during exercise.

    Avoiding hypo near end:

    Hypos can be avoided by regular BGL checks. Obviously when running this is a major pain and something I don't bother with myself. If you keep a steady carb intake whilst exercising then this should avoid the hypos. Also, hypos can occur well after you have stopped exercising - so it's important to eat something after finishing the workout and keep an eye on those levels.

    Hope this has helped some, there will be other forum members who are a lot more clued up that me and will post here soon :)

    P.S. My dietician recommended this site, it's very good:

    http://www.runsweet.com/

    Cheers!
    Grant
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. CarerOfType1

    CarerOfType1 Don't have diabetes · Member

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    Thank you @GrantGam1337 this is really helpful, we'll check out the running website and try those gel sachets. My husband tried to check his BGL while running but almost dropped his Freestyle Libre so I know it is as you mentioned not that convenient to do but it sounds like it's a matter of just doing this as a one off to identify your BGL drop point. Moving forward this would be when he takes one of the gel sachets.

    Thanks!
     
  4. GrantGam

    GrantGam Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    No worries :)

    Once he knows his rough BGL drop then he will know how many gels he needs to consume every half hour or so.

    Apparently exercising at high intensity has a more profound impact on glucose levels. Whereas, going on a fairly steady jog will affect glucose levels less.

    Good luck!
    Grant
     
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  5. CarerOfType1

    CarerOfType1 Don't have diabetes · Member

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    Thank you, really appreciate your help!
     
  6. copepod

    copepod Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Suggest your husband check www.runsweet.com or www.teambloodglucose.com or joins Facebook groups such as Sporty Diabetic Type 1's. No way would I trust my partner (I had one for 13 years) to manage my blood glucoe levels when running, cycling, orienteering, canoeing etc.

    Using the same principle as having a cord to attach compass to wrist, he could put his Libre reader in a bag with cord attached by safety pin to vest or some similar arrangement. I've seen a guy who uses an insulin pump extract his Libre reader in a pouch hung round his from under his shirt during several mountain running races, where I've either marshalled or competed.
     
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