Training for a half-marathon.....anyone run one before?

Hey everyone,

I am signed up for a half-marathon in April and am slowly beginning to train.  Does anyone have any suggestions or tips on how you handled your sugars during long runs?  The longest I have ran is 7 miles and I am ok with my sugars so far, but once i get around 13 miles I'm concerned about dropping.  I always work out in the mornings, pre-breakfast.  Right now I set my basal anywhere from 30-50%, depending on my sugars when I wake up and how long I'm going to run. 

Any tips/stories/suggestions will be greatly apprciated!!!


I have found it to be a difficult balancing act but one that can be very rewarding as well.  When I first started I was always going low after mile 2.  It seems that if iI would cut my basil down from the 1 unit per hour down to .3 starting hour to hour and half before the race and took a gue packet every couple miles I could maintan a good BS through out the race.  The first couple of races I would shoot up to the 300's, it was a slap in the face after running for 13 miles.  I started to return to my normal basil rate around mile 12 and give a bolus after the race of 5 units.  That helped keep out of the highs if I would keep checking the BS every hour for the next couple hours.  Feel no guilt in pulling over to check your bs during the race often.  If you can head off a low before you get down to 60's I feel that you can keep going to the finish line and have that twinkie and beer with no guilt what so ever.

Of course evveryone is different on how their body breaks down carbs and sugar, even us.  Honestly whats worked best for me, is to start the race and have your blood sugar around 150-180.  At this point keep on the GU, I beleive to be the best for us as well any one else in the race.  It has just bit of sugar, not much and it keeps our blood sugar stable.  I always have some other type of gel that tends to be on the sweet side, but I hope I wont need it.  The bike leg is the most demanding and tends to lower your sugar more then a swim or run.  I only compete in triathlons against myself never the next guy, unless they have a diabetics only race, our bodies work at way diferent speeds.  Do to complete not so much compete


ive never run a half marathon, but i am on my university's cross country team, and ive been running for close to 8 years now (i started in middle schhol). Some of my training runs have been close to 13 miles (half marathon distance) longest races however are only 5ks. 

In order to prepare for a run, i find it is really helpful to drop my basal rate 2 hours before i plan to run.  for example, if i plan to run at 4pm, i drop my basal rate at 2pm from .95/hr to .45/hr. this way, by the time im ready to run, my blood sugar will be at my pre-run target of 170, and i wont need to eat a lot of extra carbs.  i also have a post run basal rate set to acconut for the 8 hour post-exercise lag. 

i find that i tend to get low during a run if have insulin "left over" from a previous bolus.  for example, if i go running right when the insulin is peaking, im almost guranteed to get low.  because of this i try not to bolus (for food) close to the time im going to workout.  i will however give myself insulin to correct for highs, but even those corrections are modified.

also, because of the early morning insulin resistance, i find that i can have a lower pre-run target in the morning, but if i dont take any insulin before a morning run, i tend to get high. because of this, i try to have a small breakfast/snack before working out and i give myself a modified bolus.

good luck in the half marathon! once im out of college (and no longer on the cross counrty team) i hope to run a marathon.  i need to start looking into marathon training...


Thanks guys!  Are any of you on the pump?  Lately I have had to totally remove my pump on my long runs because I was going low after 30 minutes.  For example, today I ran 5 miles....BG was 151 at the start, then 117 after 5 miles(about 43 minutes), and I didn't wear my pump at all.  I'm thinking that once I increase mileage more then I may have to check during the run and carry some GU packets to eat.  I guess we will just have to see! 

I know we are all different and have different insulin needs, but it's always nice to hear other Diabetics running stories.  I don't know anyone else, aside from my cousin, who is a diabetic runner. :)

Happy Trails!

I'm not a runner personally, so I don't necessarily have diabetic advice, but I did learn some interesting things in an exercise physiology course I just finished:

If you weigh yourself right before running, then immediately following you can find how much volume of water you lost (take the weight difference, then covert to grams, then convert that to liters of water using the conversion factor 1kg=1l water). When you figure that out, that's how much water you should drink through out the marathon to avoid dehydration/over hydration (there's a big myth you should overhydrate before a marathon, but this can only lead to negative side effects). Also, if you plan on getting sugar throughout the run by drinking, the best method is to use regular coke. Let it go flat, then dilute it using water so there is 6 grams of carbs/100 ml. That ratio allows you to absorb sugar the fastest into your blood, and prevents drawing excess water into your gut. The caffeine will also help you metabolize fat. Hope that is in someway helpful lol


I use Levemir and Novolog instead of a pump but I have run a few half-marathons and am in the process of training for another. If I run within an hour of eating I will cut back my pre-meal insulin 20% to 40% depending on the duration of the run.  If at other times of the day I also try to start runs longer than 5 miles at around 150.  As for carrying the GU packets. I would suggest Hammer Gel packets They are more complex carbohydrates and will keep your blood sugar stable longer than some of the simple sugar based gels.  I have used them both for runs and 100+ mile bike rides and they have worked very well.

As far as taking the pump off when running, I am not sure I would do that.  I have a few very close friends who are diabetic athletes on the pump and have seen some of their struggles. They usually suspend the basal rate instead of disconecting in case something were to happen and they couldn't get home fast. Even something like a sprained ankle seemingly unrelated to diabetes could cause some serious havic if your pump is not with you.

Hope this helps and feel free to reach out with any questions.


I ran the Brookings, South Dakota marathon last May.

On race day, I got up, didn't take any insulin, slammed (2) 32 oz cool fusion gatorades along with 4 pop tarts and a banana and when I finished I walked over to my truck and my blood sugar was 157.  

It's best to find a routine while training.  Run the same trail and time yourself in order to find a comfortable pace.  Learn what foods your stomach prefers while running.  Devote 15 minutes to stretching and when your done racing keep walking.  Ipods may seem motivating but you'll run faster without one.  While practicing on trails or competing, scope out places you can go to the bathroom along the way.  Aasics forever.  Good luck.