Diabetic Running

This is what I look like when I’m running (I wish!)

There are no prizes for guessing what topic The Diabetic Running Podcast covers… It’s my first diabetic-related podcast subscription, and heck, it’s a useful one.

I’m a long-time podcast fan. As an uncultured Philistine, I don’t find music interesting enough for long walks and runs. A podcast on the other hand can be funny, the News Quiz for example, or educational.

I found the diabetic running podcast on Instagram (@diabeticrunningpodcast). I’ve entered the 2008 Great Scottish Run, a half-marathon that takes place at the end of September. I ran it ten years ago, a great deal younger and on the pump at the time.

The Diabetic Running Podcast is hosted by Jon Foti, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age twenty-seven. I worked out I’ve been exercising with diabetes for longer than he’s been alive, but I still find the interviews useful and informative.

Exercise is tricky with type 1 diabetes, especially anything that lasts long than forty-five minutes. The Diabetic Running Podcast featured an interview with a type 1 from London, Emma Collins, who’s run the London and Berlin marathons. Her first experience, she said, wasn’t great. She’d been wrongly advised to skip her basal injection altogether on the day of the race, so she ran at a lot of it at levels of 20+ (360mg/dl).

The ambulance crew who tested her blood glucose levels at the twenty-mile mark told her to give up, but she couldn’t bear to and ran on. For those of you without diabetes, running or exercising with high blood sugars is unbelievably difficult. Exercise makes you thirsty anyway and a high blood sugar sucks the liquid from your mouth and turns your muscles to lead. Kudos to Emma for continuing. We type 1s have a tendency to stubbornness.

What everyone Jon has interviewed so far has said is that exercise and type 1 diabetes is a matter of trial and error. What works for one person won’t work for another. For us, training for a half-marathon is not just about making sure we can run the distance.

It’s about experimenting with different boluses and basal rates, trying out different foods and drinks, and working out how adrenaline affects you to get it as right as you possibly can on the day of the run.


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