I know with lockdown happening that it has forced a lot of us out of our daily routines, with some people working from home or some not being able to work at all which has forced some of us to generally be less active. My usual day at work consists of me running around like crazy for 12 hours straight so I’m a lot more sedentary than usual.
Also, with the restrictions we are facing in regards to being able to work out and be active are also impacting that. I would usually go to the gym a few days a week (now I’m not saying I miss the gym because I do like to be lazy if I can) but I am definitely feeling it. I feel less active; I feel like I have this energy and I don’t know what to do with it.
But, with this going on it has pushed me to pick up my running shoes again. I have done running in the past, and I was doing quite a bit of running the last springtime but I haven’t since then and thought it would be the perfect time to get out running again.
I have now been back running for 6, going on 7 weeks and I am so proud of myself. So, it is still super fresh, and super new, although I’ve run in the past it all feels completely crazy and I am learning how to run with T1 all over again.
I thought I would write my experience over the past few weeks of running with T1, how I have been managing my glucose, tracking my progress, and just bits and bobs that I have been doing.
If I can keep going with it then I can do a follow-up blog in a few months (when I am a running expert..). Although, it is always important to remember when reading this blog that what might work for me might not always work for you.
Firstly, it can be difficult to get started when doing something new, when I was going to go for my first run I think I backed out of it about 4 or 5 times before I actually went. So, try not to think about it too much and just get out there and run, even if it is for 1 minute and you walk the rest. That’s an amazing start and you can build up from there.
Secondly, I know just getting out there is easier said than done with T1 because it’s like ‘what do I do with all my diabetes stuff. I mean we just can’t go anywhere without a bag, can we? So, think about what you need to take, whether that’s your insulin pens or pump, your glucose meter, your phone, your hypo treatment, or whatever it may be. When I started running a lot last year, I placed my diabetes items into my sports bra (yes it was uncomfortable, and I would not recommend it).
I found a brilliant running bag online for about £8, there are tons online for you to choose from. They’re great, you can stick your stuff all in one place and you can access it whilst you’re running easily enough.
Thirdly, you need to start thinking about your glucose numbers, now sadly there isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to any type of exercise, it is all very personal and so it’s all about trial and error. When I went for my first run I had a small snack beforehand just to try and prevent any hypos, this actually caused my glucose to raise crazy amounts, so on my next run, I tried it without and it worked a lot better for me.
Something that has been really helpful for me is writing all my runs on little sticky notes, so I put my glucose before, during, and after a run, whether I’ve used temporary basals or eating beforehand, how far I have run, the time of day I have run. This has been so helpful in seeing what is working for me and what isn’t, and then it makes it super easy to look back on (because I struggle to remember what I did yesterday).
As I said, I am only a few weeks into my running journey and I am still learning about how to run with T1 and there are still probably a hundred more tips I could give you that I have been trying, but these are a few steps to hopefully help you get started as they have me.
Finally, I did loads of research into running online and on social media before I got started and that helped me so much, I will link them below but charities like Diabetes UK and Beyond Type 1 have great advice. What also helped me was seeing other T1s running experiences and journeys, so I used Instagram to speak to a lot of T1s and hound them with questions!!! Another reason I just love the online diabetes community.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, if you are starting a running journey please let me know.
See you next time.