Training with diabetes

I was recently diagnosed with LADA diabetes, which as i understand it is a slow progressing form of type 1. I will need to use insulin in the near to mid term, but for now i am able to rely on diet and medication (Janumet), so more like type 2 diabetes for now. I would be grateful for any advice, tips, experiences on endurance training with diabetes that anyone wants to share.

Some existing topics worth a look if you haven’t already found them:

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Thanks. I should have done a search first, sorry I made you do it for me!


My son is T1, and although he doesn’t ride much, I’ve spent years helping him figure out how to be active (and safe) with T1. Despite many frustrations, it is doable. I’m happy to help if you ever want to reach out.

Also, if you are on Zwift, check out Team Type 1. It’s an incredibly supportive group made up entirely of T1s or close family members of those with T1.

@sthall my son is T1 diabetic too! He’s nearly 16 but it took us a while to figure the really obvious thing - a constant intake of energy during exercise is pretty much a necessity unless you want to stop regularly to treat hypos. It’s actually probably a good reminder for non-diabetic people too to listen to the current push that we should fuel our rides!

It’s different for everyone clearly but now he’s old enough to ride for hours without stopping, energy drink is a necessity else we have to stop every hour to sort out him going low.

The first sign of exercise and his blood sugar plummets. He actually disconnects his pump so he doesn’t have an insulin dose during exercise.

Everyone is different but it doesn’t stop my lad doing anything a non-diabetic would do and it actually makes us all pretty aware of eating properly. At the same time we don’t keep him away from sweet treats and cake - since it’s all manageable so long as you’re sensible.

100% agree! Nice to connect with another T1 parent…it’s definitely a different kind of parenting.

We don’t normally disconnect his pump, but we will drop it in exercise mode several hours before hand (when possible). Anything less than that he just drops like a rock, as you are well aware.


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Thanks all. I am checking out the various resources cited. They seem generally geared to people currently using insulin; I will need to use insulin when my insulin production is sufficiently impaired, but at this stage advice for training with type 2 is probably more applicable. Anyone have recommendations for resources for that?

Can’t refer you to any resources, but from those I have known who gave been type 2 or pre-type 2, it seems to have been about minimising/avoiding sugar and carbs. Which to me seems hard to reconcile with training effectively - when you need a fast easily accessible source of energy i.e. carbs.

As the body doesn’t need insulin when exercising, so far as the riding part of your day, do you not just fuel as you would a for a T1 or indeed someone who wasn’t diabetic but just wanted to fuel their ride properly?

Unfortunately you’re not trying to reverse a condition like you might be able to with T2 if one cleaned up their diet (putting it very simplistically I know!) and I would guess going low carb for an athlete would leave you feeling rough for hard training efforts?

I ride with someone who is a serious athlete and has been T1 for 30+ years. He is medically very well followed and does everything right. But sometimes things go wrong, so if you are at a risk of hypo’s then do be prepared with gels and appropriate sweets just in case. And also please make sure that your fellow riders (a) know about it, (b) know the symptoms of onset of a hypo, and (c) know where the glycogen injection is and how to use it.