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March 7, 2004

Exercise and Sports, Type 2

Question from Vallejo, California, USA:

I am a type 2 diabetic who controls the disease through diet and exercise. My most recent A1c was 4.7. I want to run a half marathon in May of this year. Can I do so without any adverse effects? Can I use the carbohydrate gels for energy during the run? Should I train for a half marathon at all?


Absolutely! Training with a goal in mind, such as a half-marathon, is a wonderful way to commit yourself to an exercise program. Based on your A1c, your diabetes appears very well controlled. And, as you currently take no oral diabetes medications, you are not at increased risk for exercise-induced low blood sugar. Using carbohydrate gels during the run is certainly one option to maintain energy levels. During your training in the months prior to your run, you may wish to track your blood sugar response to exercise and to food/carbohydrate intake. This may help you to optimize your approach. Working with a trainer and a nutritionist may be another consideration.