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Question:

From St. Louis, Missouri, USA:

I am a 34 year old male who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a little over a year ago with an initial A1c of 6.6. During the first year, I took metformin and used diet and exercise to bring my body under control. Since then, I have lost 145 pounds, brought my A1c down to 5.7, and stopped taking the metformin with my doctor's approval a little over a month ago.

I am now very health conscious and still exercise almost daily, usually by running or cycling. I have now decided that I would like to run a half marathon in April. I know I have my work cut out for me as I now run only around four miles a day, but I believe that this is something I can absolutely do with hard work. How should I train for this event as a diabetic? I've never experienced hypoglycemia to my knowledge, but am I prone to it on such an extended run? How should my diet change as most "real" runners seem to bulk up on carbohydrates prior to a run that are not healthy for me? Any assistance or a point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Congratulations on losing 145lbs! That is probably the best medicine anyone can take for type 2 diabetes and your A1c looks great too. As for running a half marathon I recommend you look at Run Injury Free with Jeff Galloway. Jeff has a great program for first time marathoners (half marathoners, too), which implements walking and running. He has numerous articles as well as books available for you to read.

Your question about hypoglycemia and long runs should not be an issue for you. As long as you are not on insulin or oral agents that can cause hypoglycemia, you should be fine. Remember to take it slow so an injury does not interfere with your goal. I see too many people who start a moderate running program (two or three times per week, three to five miles) and want to jump right into a marathon. The majority of these runners will get injured so follow some of Jeff Galloway's advice and you will reach your goal.

RP

DTQ-20050104000718
Original posting 11 Jan 2005
Posted to Exercise and Sports

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:00
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