• benjamin massey

Dusting off the Running Shoes

Running, its a love hate relationship. Over the past 1 - 2 years I have taken a break from running and focusing my time on other sports like cycling and strength training in the gym.

Up until 2 months ago, I started to get itchy feet, and miss the feeling that running once created for me.

So I took the plunge, purchased a pair of Nike pegasus running shoes, running shorts and T shirt to commence my return. I started with 1 x 5km easy run per week and increased the distance 2km every week, and then after a few weeks added in a second run of 4 - 8km depending how the body was reacting to the increase in volume.

The biggest Vice that I experienced and still do today is controlling my BGL, I find that I burn a-lot more of my blood glucose and glycogen when running in comparison to what I do when i'm cycling, most likely due to running being a higher impact sport, and my run fitness being much lower than my bike fitness. Timing and preparation for a run is paramount, I need to ensure that I have minimal active insulin on board, a temp basal for the duration of the run and have consumed at least 30G carbohydrates shortly before I head out the door for my run.

I prefer to run with out my phone, so that means that I am unable to use my Dexcom G6 sensor to get readings for my BGL, and therefor take my Accu check mobile tester with me as it is small and compact to fit in my pocket without falling out. I would normally stop every 20mins or so to test my BGL and make any adjustments on the go, whether that is adjusting my temp basal or ingesting additional carbohydrates in the form of either jelly beans, or a Gel.

towards the back end of the run, and depending on my BGL, I will normally stop 1km from home and test, if I am not low I will dose my insulin for the food and drink that I intend to have once I return home. The reason for this is that I find my BGL will actually start to rise once I stop exercising, and eating on a rising BGL can end up causing an excessive hyperglycaemia before the insulin has time to facilitate its metabolic function.

21/12/2020 was the day that I did my longest run since making my come back, 20km at 5:15min/km pace.

I had the same morning routine as every other day, wake up 90mins prior to exercise, dose the full insulin amount for my Cacao beverage, between 35 - 45g carbohydrates. complete my morning mobility and movement to loosen up the body, and then head up stairs to the kitchen to make my delicious Cacao beverage. Have a 2 min cold shower afterwards and get dressed into my running clothes, at this point about 5 mins before heading out the door, I consume a bowl of corn flakes with table sugar and almond milk, with no bolus as I will still have a small amount of active insulin from my earlier bolus. I will also put a temp basal on my pump at between 40 - 60% for the duration of the run just before heading out the door.

30mins later, this is where things started to go differently, I checked my BGL expecting to be between 5 and 10 which is what normally happens at this intensity. Oh was I in for a rude shock, I was 14.3! at this point I turned off my temp basal completely and continued my run, once i got to the turn around point at the 10km mark I checked my BGL again to find that it had continued to increase... up to 14.7. Originally I had planned to consume 30g of carbohydrates at this point but due to my excessively high BGL I wasn't able to do that, I proceeded to put a temp basal on, but this time at 150% thinking surely this will bring me down, Oh was I wrong once again, at the 16k. mark I re tested to see that I was still sitting at 14.7, Jesus christ this is where i'm starting to get pissed off, I dose 0.3 units of insulin on top of the 150% basal pattern in a last ditch effort to bring me back to single digits by the time I get home.

20km completed 500m from home so I retest expecting to have come back down, yet again still high, but slightly lower at 13.3, at this point I dose insulin for 175g of carbohydrates and for a correction. Finally get home, have a shower and get changed ready to head up to have some breakfast, check my BGL to see where i'm sitting. Much to my shock I have actually gone higher... up to 16.7, at this point I pulled out my Novarapid Pen in a rage, to dose and additional 3 units of insulin, start preparing breakfast and by the time breakfast is ready I check again and see that I am gradually dropping from 10.2. I later learnt what I experienced today on my 20km run is known as the "marathon effect" which can occur in non diabetics too. A release of stored lipids into the blood stream causing insulin resistance which would explain why I wasn't able to metabolise the excess glucose in my blood.

very much the same experience that occurs when you eat excess dietary fat.

looking forward to continuing my Running journey, and to slowly increase my weekly volume.

Over the next 12 months I plan to complete a half marathon event and then a marathon at a later date when my fitness allows for that.

anyway gang, thanks for tuning in. Piece out

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