Road Race Advice

Hi guys,

I am going to run an 11km road race next month and would like some advice on how to avoid a low blood sugar during my run. Usually, if I was going to do something like this, I would just make sure to have someone I know waiting half way through the race with some Gatorade for me to drink if I need it. Also, I would wear an identification bracelet. However, I am running this race in Japan, so I may have no way of getting sugar during the race without stopping. I am just running this race for fun, but it would still be nice to be able to complete the race without having to stop. Any suggestions? Also, I will still wear the identification bracelet. Any Japanese doctor will understand the word `diabetes,` but many normal citizens won`t.

Thanks for your help!

you should be able to bring GU or Hammer Gel with you - the packets are small enough that you can even travel through airport security with a few.  If you pump, I would suggest setting a temp basal from about an hour before your race until an hour after you're done.  If not, on an 11k race I would expect that you could eat something before the race and probably just use 1-2 gels during the race, but your mileage may vary.  Personally, I need about 20g of carbs for every 30min of exercise, but everyone's body is different.

I bike 15 - 17 miles a few times a week.  I drink Heed, also made by Hammer, during my rides.  It has more complex carbs than Gatorade.  I also eat one Bonk Breaker bar prior to my ride (www.bonkbreaker.com).  It's like eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  I also carry various Honey Stinger fruit chews just in case I need a quick fix.   I try to stay away from things simple sugars.  I can carry a fair amount of food and fluid on the bike, I don't how you'd carry them during a run.

Thanks Dale and Doug,

I`ll be sure to look into your advice and take something with me while I run. I`ll also be sure to check my blood sugar before and after I run. Eating the Bonk Breaker before the run seems like a good idea too. I`m hoping the run only takes about an hour or so, but it is on a mountain and I`m not good at running hills.

Even before being diagnosed I was used to carrying at least a single water bottle and few gels for regular runs and more for longer runs (over 2-3 hours).  Now, for every run over 60 minutes I carry the same things and just adjust quantities.

I use a Camelbak pack (don't remember which one, I've had it for years) - it has a reservoir pocket that holds the big water sleeve (I only use this on longer runs), 2 pockets that hold my assorted "stuff", and a side pocket on each side that each hold a 24oz water bottle comfortably.

On normal length runs I'll carry 1 bottle of water and the other of an electrolyte drink (specifically Succeed Amino), one 12-pack of glucose tabs just in case, and about 1 Hammer Gel pack for every 15 minutes that I plan to be out (I only use 1 every 20-30 minutes, but this means I have extra just-in-case).  Since all of my carbs come from slower-digesting carbs, I don't really have much in spikes or serious lows as long as I stay on schedule.

For longer runs, or runs where I know I'm going to have limited access for any sort of refills, I'll take 2 bottles of Amino and fill my camelbak to the max for my water.  I also bring at least 1 extra package of Amino with me to mix on the go if I want more.

The great thing about the Camelbak is that while it's not hard to carry, it gives me easy access to just about everything - the pockets provide space for my phone, wallet, camera, meter, strips, etc. without difficulty and enough room to spare for a fleece vest or light jacket or something too, which I often bring along.  It only cost me about $50, and was probably the best money I ever spent on running gear besides my FiveFingers.

I will switch from MDI to an Animas Ping the end of this month, and when that happens I am adding a SPIBelt to carry my pump in and will have an extra pocket or two to keep other stuff close by as well.

Obviously, YMMV, but this has worked very well for me for unsupported runs with no available resources but water of up to 30 miles, and supported runs even longer than that.  If you have any questions that I can help with, definitely let me know either here or via "conversation"

Thanks Dale,

I`ll be sure to look into getting a Camelbak. I`ve sort of wanted one for a while, but have just never taken the time to actually research it.

Let me know how it goes.  They have everything from very small packs to very large packs.  I find the ones in the middle to be the best for my purposes, as I can fit enough stuff for about 24 hours in without any difficulty, and it's still light enough to take on shorter runs too.  When I'm traveling for pleasure, this is also my 2nd carry-on bag at the airport (when it's business I need my briefcase, but will still sometimes pack my Camelbak inside my other suitcase).

I ran the race today and finished 11.1km in 55 mins 22 secs. I ate two bonk bars 1 hour before the race and had sugars in good range before and after the race.

Congrats.  What did you drink during the race?

I just drank water during the race, but they did have sports drinks available if I had needed it. If I ran in a longer run, I think I would definitely chosen the sports drink about half way through.