Cross Country + Diabetes?

It's going to be my senior year and I finally plucked up the courage to try (of course) one of the most difficult sports out there....cross country! Is there any diabetic in CC that could offer me some advice about what to do as far as maintaining blood sugars from dropping while running the long miles? I'm excited but also very nervous. o.O

Ah! Congratulations on deciding to join your cross country team :D

I was diagnosed in July 2010, and then began training for cross country about a month later.

I'm still in the honeymoon stage right now, so before cross country and track practice I ate 30g-45g of carbs and about 7g of protein (usually peanutbutter) before practice and I didn't take any insulin. If you're not in the honeymoon stage then you'll probably want to take insulin, but only half because your blood sugar drops during and after exercise. But it's important to test out different doses and snacks with different distances and intensities, preferrably before the season officially starts so you know what's going on before practices.

This probably varies a bit from person to person, but I noticed that by blood sugar would drop during very slow jogging. It would raise a bit during hard runs (150s-160s) and be lower after my workouts. It would raise more during speed workouts (170s-190s) and be lower afterwards. During races, my blood sugar would sky rocket (260s at the end of the race, always), and be a lot lower later. So basically, slower running lowers blood sugar during the workout and less afterwards. High intensity running raises blood sugar during the run, but makes it a lot lower later. You'll also notice that after running consistently, your blood sugars will be lower all day so you should gradually reduce your long-acting insulin (or change your basal rate, if you're on a pump, for days that you are running, days that you're not running, and during your runs).

Also, you should always glucose tablets with you when you're running. Don't run if your blood sugar is below 140 or above 250. A medical bracelet is really great to have incase you pass out and someone finds you. It's also really great to have someone to run with, especially at first when you're testing out different doses and snacks before the season, if you were to pass out (I hope that doesn't happen, btw).

Good luck with your first cross country season!

- Mal

Thank you so much for the tips! I'm glad someone on here could relate! :) Did you somehow carry your meter and sugar with you during practices/meets?

I carry Glucose tablets in my hand while run. They also make those belts for keys and phones. They're really small and fit under your clothes, but you'd fit glucose tablets in there. I never bought one, but I'm planning on getting one soon. I also wore spandex compression shorts under my running shorts, so I put my tablets in there a few times because carrying the tablets is really irritating. I never carried a meter, although I probably should have... Maybe a small running backpack would be good to carry with you at practice.


I am a long distance runner in track, and i use a small pouch that is meant to carry keys for glucose tabs.  I clipped it on my shorts for every practice:)  

At the beginning of the season, my blood sugars were crazy, but after a while, they got better when i started to understand how my blood sugar reacted when and after i ran:)  having a snack before hand was usually a good idea for me, and i only gave insulin with it if i was high.   but that mostly just depends on how you personally react:)  you might want to test your blood sugar in the middle of night a few times at the beginning of the season, just because you dont know when you will start to drop.  

have fun running!  

Yeah, as soon as I started running again consistently I went down to half a unit of Lantus, and when I'm not running I have to take one whole unit... It really makes a big difference :)

I know my mom would insist I carry my meter but I can usually tell when I'm low without stopping to test. One of those small pouches sounds really nice. I'm not in shape at all... and I get dizzy fast. I'm starting to feel this is not such a good idea :/

Thanks for the tips though everyone! As for doing cross country, we will see how this year pans out.

I've been injured for a month and a half (ruining my last high school track season, boo), and I've been running again for two days and it was horrible. Getting in shape (or BACK into shape) in the beginning is the worst part, but if you work out all summer you'll be in really great shape :) You can do it!

I started using this small pouch to carry with me when I run... It's kinda like a minimalist fanny pack, haha :) But it's pretty small so if I wear a big t-shirt when I run, which I usually do, you can't even see it. I can fit glucose tablets and a cell phone inside of it. I hope you keep running, wether or not you do cross country, because it has so many health benefits :)

I have my cross country coach keep soem gatoraid with him that way if I need it I have it. I check before and after I had races

I forgot to include the link for the thing that I've been using - I love it!

I am also a senior this year (woot woot 2012!!) and am trying cc for the first time ever!! I carry glucose tablets in my pocket and for the first few weeks have been recording my numbers after practice, as much of a pain as it is, to see how it affects me. It also really helps to know you have the whole team supporting you and there to have your back if you feel low during a race :)

I’m a senior too! Haha I play soccer and we also run a lot so I always have a few gatoraids on the sidelines and ill take a few glucose tablets before the game starts

I'm in cross country too and on my last year in middle school. What I normally do is check my blood sugar before practice and have glucose tablets around at ALL TIMES in case if you feel dizzy and it isnt your snack time yet