Home Diabetic Runner Tips Diabetes Marathon Tips for Diabetic Runners

Diabetes Marathon Tips for Diabetic Runners

Diabetes marathon tips when training and during workouts is essential for runners so they can maximize their full potential and train appropriately as they race.

Is a diabetic runner safe out there? While exercise should be a part of the habits that diabetics form, how much is too much exercise?

Diabetes Marathon Tips on Exercise and Blood Sugar

The most common issue that people have about diabetes mixed with exercise is how to maintain the right level of blood sugar. Those running with diabetes know that they need to do the following to exercise safely –

  • Run at the same time every day.
  • Check your blood sugar level before running. A reading of <100 mg/dl before exercising means you need a carb intake. A reading of >250 mg/dl means you have to sit on a bench for now and wait for your blood sugar to go under 250.
  • Always have an exercise companion who knows how to administer first-aid should your blood sugar plummet.
  • Bring an ID with you or have a card that contains your full name and the contact details of a relative or friend. The card should also tell the respondent that you are diabetic.
  • Do not exercise when you have an infection or if you’re sick. Feel better first and then exercise when you’re able.

Be extra careful during physical exertions. When you feel dizzy, faint, nauseated, fatigued, or as if you’re losing control over your muscles, then gradually slow down and then stop exercising.

Diabetes Pills and Insulin Precautions

A diabetic can experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) during running and then takes insulin. Insulin is absorbed quickly – too quick, in fact, that it will peak.

If you are taking insulin or diabetes pills when running with diabetes, then here are some diabetes marathon tips to remember –

  • A blood sugar level that is <100 before running a marathon requires no less than 30 grams of carb intake. Eat this much carbohydrates before exercising or you will risk having hypoglycemia.
  • Bring any carbohydrate snack each time that you run to prevent the sudden decrease in your blood sugar level.
  • An hour-long (or longer) marathon requires an hourly check on your blood sugar. Again, if it dips below 100 mg/dl, then eat carbohydrate snacks.
  • Do not inject insulin on any part of your body that will exert a lot of effort during the marathon. So keep your thighs free from hypodermic needles because injecting before running will result in increased absorption of insulin, thus, hypoglycemia can occur.
  • Record how your body responds when running with diabetes. As you become more familiar with the peaks and lows of your blood sugar levels and when they occur during the marathon, then you will know the best timing as well as the number of medicines, meal amounts, and exercise.

Hyperglycemia can also happen while doing a marathon or right after exercising. This inevitably happens when there is not enough insulin before you began running.

A doctor can help you balance the right amount of medicines for your level of exercise.

The Diabetic Runner Footwear

It is important to invest in a good pair of sneakers and pairs of socks when you’re serious about running a marathon. Your shoes must have durable straps so you won’t risk tripping.

Find also a pair of shoes that are flexible, comfortable, and one that reduces stiffness and pain. If it allows better circulation, then it is the kind of must-have sneakers for diabetics.

As for your socks, buy those made of polyester or cotton blend. These can help prevent blisters during those long runs.

Say No to Running When…

  • Running with diabetes affects your eyes
  • It affects your kidneys (diabetic nephropathy)
  • It affects your nerves (since the loss of sensation can result in fractures and foot ulcers)

Other than these conditions, you’re free to pursue your passion as a diabetic runner. More guide on marathon safety and diabetes here.

diabetes marathon

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Sofia Lee
Running enthusiast, blogger, mom, fitness advocate. Loves to share health tips!

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