Running and pump use

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Helenad DAFNE Graduate
King's College Hospital, Camberwell
1 post


I'm looking for advice about running a half marathon with a pump. I'm type 1 diabetic, for 20 years and fairly stable.

I'm training for a half-marathon. I've been running for a couple of years and so far, I always take off my pump to run but I haven't ever run for longer than an hour. Up to about an hour I keep my blood glucose stable by running without the pump so if I leave with a reading of about 9 say, I come back with roughly the same BG as when I left.

But now, I'm upping my time running so on Sunday I ran for an hour and a half. I left for the run with a bg of 10. Got back and it was 5.2. I'm at the Kings College Hospital clinic and get differing advice from nurses and doctors from, keep your pump on and you need to give yourself insulin during your run, to take it off and make sure you take extra glucose as the run goes on.

I'll be running the race for about 2 and a half hours. Any advice? I will obviously take testing equipment while I'm doing the race but need to know if I should watch out for hypos or too high bloods by the end.

Many thanks, Helen

novorapidboi26 DAFNE Graduate
NHS Lanarkshire
1,800 posts

you might get more advice HERE

Allan S DAFNE Graduate
Dumfries and Galloway
1 post

Hi Helen,
I'm a type 1 diabetic (for 37 years now). I've never had an insulin pump. I have run two half marathons in 2008 and 2009.
My ideal length of race is 10K - which I can manage without too much trouble, with respect to my diabetes. Half marathon is really a bit too far for me - but after getting quite a good time for my first, I thought I'd try again the next year. After both races my glucose was very low (around 3) even although I'd been taking glucose tablets on the way round.
I like to start with my glucose at least 10, and according to the runsweet website take 1 glucose tablet every mile or so, initially upping this to 2 tablets every mile in the later stages.
My consultant put me onto a great website called Its contains very good advice for all types of sport and activities.
Best wishes for the half marathon!

JennyNZ 29 posts

Hi Helen - hope your training is going well. I'm sorry but I'm not on a pump either but Have done a few 1/2 marathons and got it down to a fine art. I found the diabetic clinics weren't much help at all until I saw a nutritionist who specialised in endurance sport and diabetes. regardless of whether you are on a pump or not ( or being a diabetic or not) there are general nutrition guidelines that apply to long events (i.e. 2 hours or more). I started doing triathlons and learnt all my nutrition through them. for any event over 2 hours athletes should be consuming approx their weight in grams of CHO per hour so if you weigh say 60kg you should be consuming 60gr of complex carbs per hour approx. I've found that at most races drink stations are about every 5km or so, so I would either have their sports drink or have one of my own gels (25gr CHO) with water. that equalled 50gr per hour round about. I am not a flash athlete at all so am slow, but these are pretty standard principles for long events. I would use the same principle for long swims and bike rides, too. I find advice for diabetics focusses more on their diabetes that on the athlete.
sorry that doesn't help with your pump query though.

novorapidboi26 DAFNE Graduate
NHS Lanarkshire
1,800 posts

Would you reduce your insulin for that also?

Obviously as the muscles replenish there glucose from the blood stream, insulin is still required............

kid127 DAFNE Graduate
University Hospitals, Leicester
25 posts

Hi Helen,

Not sure if you have already run the half marathon or not but im on a pump so can offer some advice from my experiences. I run a half marathon last October and I disconnected the pump for the first hour and then attached it on 30% rate for the rest of the race. I had a bag of lucozade jelly beans in my pocket and had a couple of jelly beans every mile as well

That left me with reasonable BSG levels after the race and gave me enough energy to complete the race. I have to say I experimented a lot to get that routine including checking my sugar levels during practise runs to see where I was at, best advice is to take your test kit out with you on a practise run and see where you are every couple of miles. That will tell you when you need sugar and when you need insulin

Hope that helps give you some ideas anyway