Diabetes Without Running


I would like to say that running is as important as inulin to me and my diabetes, but it isn’t. Running is a very important part of the delicate balance of my life with type 1 diabetes, but now, I’m going to have to live without it for some time.


I have been nursing an injury, a sports hernia, for a few months. I had hoped I could live with the pain and put surgery off until after the Amsterdam marathon. The surgeon I went to left the decision up to me. I decided not to rush into surgery, and leave it up to my body, or at least to my hernias.


Today, though, my hernias have informed me that it’s time to stop running.  It’s not the first time they’ve informed me, but it’s the first time I’m going to listen to them.  Last week I stopped running during a 15 mile run.  After just 7 miles the pain was unbearable. It hurt so much I was actually dragging my left leg.

As I ran those 7 miles I realized that there was no way I was going to run a marathon, or even a half,  if I didn’t take care of my sports hernias first.  But being me, I decided I would go for a short run this morning. I figured I could easily run a slow 8 miles.  I was wrong. This morning I started out nice and slow but after a few steps the pain in my left hip started. It wasn’t terrible, more of an ache, a soreness, a tight feeling in my hip and groin. I thought it would let up as I warmed up, but it didn’t. It actually got worse. I was happy to be out running, meeting lots of people I know, but the pain didn’t go away. After 4.5 miles I decided I’d had enough. I needed to stop running altogether.


While I can deal with not training for a marathon, I can’t deal with not running at all.  Running is an essential part of my diabetes care. It keeps me insulin sensitive and helps keep my numbers down. Every time I stop running for a few days, my blood sugar starts to go crazy.


Now the problem is how do I adjust my insulin and food so my blood sugar doesn’t get totally out of control.  Should I raise my basal, set a temporary basal rate of 110% or 120%, or will that just make me crash. What I usually do when I’m not on my schedule is cut out carbs entirely, but I do that for a few days. This may be months.


I have an appointment with another surgeon this week.  I have no idea how long it will take to get under the knife (it’s actually laparoscopic surgery) and then once I have the surgery, it will take at least a few weeks before I can start running again.


Also, it’s probably a good idea to mention that aside from running working wonders for my blood sugar, it’s my “therapy.”  Will I go crazy without it?  Jess will probably let you know. 

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water aerobics exercises

Hi Michael, my friend is type 1 diabetes and last week I told her to join my water aerobics classes (I’m the instructor). Does this have positive effect on her health???

10 years ago

I’m so sorry to hear that, Mike — running is so important to you. I second all the suggestions made so far (and I think that it’s worth experimenting with higher basal rates — just test frequently and you’ll be okay). For what it’s worth, when I had shoulder surgery and wasn’t able to exercise for a few weeks, I thought I would go crazy both physically and diabetically. But strangely, I didn’t. Not exercising much (other than walking) actually made diabetes easier to manage than my normal schedule. Of course, now that I’m relatively healed I’m back to my… Read more »

10 years ago

That sounds stressful Mikey I hope you feel better soon.  In the meantime it sounds like it will be a trial and error of adjustment.  I liked the swimming idea and wonder if you’ll emerge from this with a more varied fitness routine that’s less punishing on the body generally (knees, feet) than just running.

Nathan Shackelford
10 years ago

I’ve found that taking a couple brisk walks a day does a lot for my insulin sensitivity. Maybe that type of activity can be worked in throughout your recovery and you can get some of the benefits at least.
I found that when I dropped walking for a few days my BG went up and my insulin requirements went up, etc. So, I think it has some of the same qualities, but much less strenuous.

Nice Diabetes
10 years ago

Sorry to hear about your bad luck Michael and hope that you get it all sorted out soon.

For me when I have breaks from running it takes awhile for my blood sugars and insulin levels to change back to no exercise. i.e. days or weeks I’ve always found it strange and very irritating, I hope you find a solution that works for you 

Robin Cacopardo
10 years ago

Thanks. I don’t know. I’m going to ask the doctor on Thursday.

10 years ago

Hi michael, sorry to hear that. Is swimming an option for you? 
Ive heard it can realy bring (diabetic) blood sugar down.
Rak briut! 

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