Diabetes safety for marathon runners and triathlon athletes needs to be constantly monitored with a help of a medical practitioner or a sports doctor.
Running with diabetes – is this even possible? Many complications come when a diabetic runner competes in a marathon or even when he just decides to run for an exercise.
Regardless of whether you have a Type 1 or 2 diabetes, running is not just possible but also something that can give you a lot of benefits. But the key here is to know how to do it safely so that you reap the benefits and not the problems.
Here are 7 diabetes safety tips when you have diabetes:
1. Talk to Your Doctor
Before you even begin running with diabetes, it is best to consult with your doctor. More so when you have obstructed artery or high blood pressure. This healthcare professional also knows your medical history so he will know whether to recommend running or not.
If you still have to hurdle some health issues or still need to learn how to manage hypoglycemia, then it is best to focus on getting healthy first. Once you’re good to run, your doctor can get in touch with an exercise physiologist who can help customize a running plan.
2. Pace Yourself
Even individuals with no medical issues need to pace their exercise so take it easy especially when it has been a long time since you last ran a marathon.
Learning to properly pace when running is a critical skill for any runner. Becoming a master at pacing allows you to optimize your potential and even set personal bests.
Let’s say you’re pacing for a marathon. To be successful at your race, you need to have a pace that is 3% slower than your first 3-4 miles of marathon pace.
3. Measure Your Blood Sugar
If there is one thing that every expert diabetic runner knows, it is to measure the glucose in his blood before running a race – the most vital diabetes safety tip! Keep in mind that the optimal level for your blood sugar is 100-250 mg/dL. You are ready to run when your glucose is within this level.
Wait and do not exert any effort when your blood sugar goes higher than 250 mg/dL.
Remember that running is an intense physical activity so you will have to adjust your insulin dose before doing this activity.
Be mindful of hydration especially since diabetics are more prone to dehydration when their blood sugar levels spike. Drink water often before, during, and after running but make sure to gulp down little amounts. This is the best administration for marathon runners.
5. Plan Your Diabetic Snacks
Many diabetic runners are afraid to run a race because they fear hypoglycemia. But proper planning and eating can lead to sports success, in fact, some professional athletes live with diabetes.
One to three hours before running, make sure that you eat a carb-rich snack or meal so that you will have enough energy to burn throughout the run. You should also carry any of the following to sustain you during your physical activity –
- Hard candy
- Fresh fruits
- Granola bars
- Dried fruits such as raisins
Always run with food supplements, your glucometer, and glucogels.
If you are participating in a day-long run, then be sure to eat six, carbohydrates and protein-rich, small meals. Hypoglycemia often occurs anytime between four to 48 hours after exercising so eat well-balanced meals and snacks.
6. Care for Your Feet
Take good care of those diabetic runner’s feet because nerve damage can happen when you sustain a foot injury. Injuries that go unnoticed can worsen and even get infected.
Keep your feet dry all the time and protect it from heat and cold. Always wear shoes and never walk barefoot even when you are in your home.
Wear padded socks that fit nicely and are hole-free. Consult a podiatrist for callus or corn removal.
7. Inform Your Coach or Running Companion
Now that you’re ready to run, then make sure that you do not do it alone. A doctor-recommended coach or trainer is the best companion for you during your running exercises. Lastly, have a companion when running with diabetes to ensure your safety. More safety guides for diabetics here.
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