Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

5/16/05

Q:

I am a 51 year old male with type 2 diabetes. My news and diagnosis scared me so bad that I have began exercising, in earnest. I feel that I am literally "running for my life". I plan to run 5K's then 10K's then 15K's then 1/2 Marathons and finally a Marathon. So......my question is: Are there any other issues a diabetic should be aware of compared to other "normal runners". Also, are sugar free sports drinks and gels ok or do I need the regular types.

A:
You seem to be allowing yourself enough of a time frame to reach your goals. Appropriate fluid balance in your life is a must. Sugar free drinks are not the way to maintain a long run. Gel packs can have their place. What would be important for you is to have an eating plan in place that is coordinated with your blood sugars and other lifestyle habits. This will change as you get closer to your goal. Getting proper muscle glycogen storage is important for a long run, but not at the expense of good blood sugar control. Medications you are on must also be factored in. There are many variables; you are an individual. It will be helpful for you to seek out other runners w/diabetes in your area. One thing to bear in mind is that stress elevates blood sugar. Enjoy your running passion; it's your outlet, not your job. Have fun!



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