5 Tips for Running a Marathon WITH Diabetes

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As you can see in my post My First Marathon, I finished the Las Vegas Marathon 2017. It wasn’t a pleasure walk. It needed preparation and a lot of research regarding my diabetes.

Here are my personal 5 tips to run with Diabetes and finish a marathon.

Tip 1 : Fill yourself with Carbs !

24 hour before starting the marathon, make sure you have enough carbs in your body. I ate about 600 gram carbs the day before (Spread over the day. Most was a macaroni salade) and I made sure that my sugar levels were still normal ! When you have enough carbs in your body, you won’t eat your muscles during the race.

Tip 2 : Eat Gels with water

Just before the start of the marathon I ate a gel with 24 gram carbs in it. This gel does advise to drink water with it. Just a few sips is enough. During the marathon I ate every 40 minutes a gel and I had 8 gels with me. Some paged advise to have 60-70 gram carbs every hour. For me this was too much, so I did it with about 45 gr carbs/hour. I didn’t use the gels the organisation was providing during the race, because I didn’t know how my stomach would react to it.

There are gels with and without caffeine. I prefer without caffeine, but this is personal.

Tip 3 : Test everything before the Marathon.

Everything I did before, during and after the marathon I tested it in advance. Not only test it, but also had a very close look at your sugar levels, so that you know what your body needs and how it can recover.

Tip 4 : Recover with chocolate.

One thing that really helped me, was drinking chocolate mild and eating chocolate after the race ! There are scientific articles about it and I just like it. Make sure that the chocolate got a lot of cacao in it.

Tip 5 : Watch your sugar level after the race

2 weeks before the race I was using my FreeStyle Libre and watched closely my sugar levels. Even after the race you should watch you values. In my case everything looks fine, but a hypo followed in the night, although I had enough food after the marathon.

The start of the marathon was at 16:30. Although all the gels and carbs, the level is stable. (Finish of the marathon was at about 21:40. Value went up due to food after the marathon.)

My nightly levels. A bit low although everything looks fine when I was going to bed….


Have fun and enjoy running !

Here are some tips for running a marathon.


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