Type 2 And Running


Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Hi Everyone,

I was diagnosed with Type 2, 2 weeks ago with a Hbac1 of 75. I was put on metformin 2 tabs a day, which have been now increased to 3 a day. Have been feeling really tired and struggling to keep eyes open at work.

I am/was a runner and was supposed to run the great north run next weekend, but due to having no energy have not been able to train and will give it a miss. Just wanted some advice about long distance running and blood sugar. Is it safe? what about using gels and sports drinks?

Love to hear from other runners. Hope to have some energy again to start running.




Well-Known Member
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
Hi @szia I will tag @daisy1 who will post a very useful information sheet for newly diagnosed T2
Turning to running in particular I have not run a half marathon in recent years, I usually run either 3 or 5 miles at a time. Trouble with sports drinks (and gels) is that they are very high in sugar, which as a T2 your body has trouble in processing. For a half marathon there is no need to consume such supplements. Much better to drink water, little and often.
35 years ago when I ran Marathons there was the phenomenon of 'hitting the wall', a point around the 18-20 mile mark when it seemed that suddenly someone had jumped on your back for a piggy-back. The solution was felt to be carb-loading, reduce carb intake in the weeks leading up to the run and then pig out on carbs in the 2 days prior to running. This was thought to extend your ability to run further before 'hitting the wall'. What actually happens is that you run out of energy- literally. You body has used up ever drop of glucose available to it, and the sensation that follows lasts until your body switches to burning fat as energy, at that point you pick up again.

My personal logic is this, people who go on hunger strike, provided they drink water live for in excess of 60 day before endangering their life. That is how long it appears the body takes to burn through the fat reserve. Glucose on the other hand only lasts for 18 miles! So would it be better to start a race in fat burning mode?
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Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Cruelty towards animals.

Hello and welcome to the forum :) Here is the information we give to new members, mentioned above, and I hope it will be useful to you. Ask more questions when you need to and someone will be able to help.


Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you'll find well over 210,000 people who are demonstrating this.

On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

The role of carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

The bad news

Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

The good news

People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

Controlling your carbs

The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.

There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:

  • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
  • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
Reduce your carbohydrates

A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

Choosing better carbohydrates

The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes.

Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a free 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

Eating what works for you

Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
  • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
  • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
  • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
  • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
  • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
  • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

Access to blood glucose test strips

The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:

  • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
  • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic.

Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.