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May 7, 2001

Exercise and Sports

Question from Freiburg, Germany:

I’m a 28 year old female adult with type 1 diabetes for a year and a half who wants to participate in a amateur triathlon this summer. My diabetes doctor gave me the go ahead but not much guidance. I want to find some information on how to set up a training program for myself with my diabetes in mind. Is there any site on line that I can go to or a diabetes trainer on line that I could correspond with for some guidance?


From: DTeam Staff

I do have a number of suggestions for you regarding resources, both on and off the web. The Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association (DESA, formerly the International Diabetic Athletes Association) is a fantastic resource for persons with diabetes interested in athletic endeavors. The organization’s membership consists of athletes and exercise enthusiasts with diabetes, many of whom have personally participated in marathons, triathlons, Ironmans and ultraendurance events. You may also wish to contact your local diabetes association and ask for their recommendations regarding resources near you.

The Diabetic Athlete by Sheri Colberg and Edward Horton is a valuable resource. It provides detailed advice on blood sugar regulation, insulin, medication, and nutrition for a variety of sports and activities, and It addresses specific concerns regarding diabetes management during training and competition.

There are a number of on-line coaching services where (for a fee) you can obtain assistance from certified coaches in preparation for a triathlon. The training recommendations will most likely not be diabetes-specific, but may be helpful in providing guidance in a “personal training” type format. I am aware of one such service specific to your sport via the National Triathlon Academy. You can certainly search on-line for others and comparison shop, if you feel this approach would benefit you.

We wish you best of luck with your training and triathlon participation!