Type 1 Ultra

endurance sports in the weird and wonderful world of type 1 diabetes

Ultramarathon nutrition for type 1 diabetics

This post is long overdue and has just been written on a long haul flight to the US. It needs mention of Babybel cheeses and hydration but other than that, I think it should be helpful to type 1 diabetics wondering how to approach long runs. Bulletpoint: condition yourself to do more with less.

There is a fascinating discussion finally taking place around what we – ‘we’, as in ‘everyone in the developed world’ – treat as nutrition. Having just watched That Sugar Film I think there is a chicken or the egg discussion to be had around whether that film started the wave or has jumped on the crest. One thing is sure, though, a number of lifestyle writers and blog-based journalists have been inspired by its content, even if they are now writing without acknowledging it as a source.

So, to my point: race nutrition for type 1 diabetic ultramarathon runners.

Niche huh? And what the f&%# does that have to do with the unfolding mainstream discussion around calorie sources as a contributor to health problems, rather than the chronically simplified discussion around calories in, and calories out? Read the rest of this entry »

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Coast2Kosci 2014 Race Report, by Roger Hanney

Here’s my race report from Coast2Kosci, run just last weekend. I’ll soon be writing an article for http://www.Type1Ultra.com which focuses on the diabetes-related elements of this run, specifically nutrition and insulin management.

run, eat, sleep, run.

Writing race reports after properly long runs easily turns into an exercise in self-indulgence. Let’s face it, there’s a reason the whole world’s eyes turn to watch Usain Bolt run for 9.5 seconds but generally glaze over when runners talk about feeling a second or third wind at the second rising of the sun.

So, Coast2Kosci 2014, short version – ran smooth, hobbled a bit, got wet, how fun was that?!

Coast2Kosci 2014, longer version.

It would be fun to one time read a race report where somebody really complained about their crew. Something along the lines of, “these guys couldn’t tell a sports drink from a ginger biscuit. I called them Team Guantanamo because they frequently blasted loud noise at me and wouldn’t pass the water, choosing instead to leave me in uncomfortable positions when all I wanted to do was go to the toilet.” This is not that…

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Don’t just run with type 1. Race!

Igor Stevic is a US-based type 1 who doesn’t just run ultramarathons, he runs them fast.

His blog is called Life is short… Running makes it seem longer… and as luck would have it, just as I’ve set up Type 1 Ultra on Facebook (please drop by) Igor has gone and run a smacking time at a 50-miler (80km) road race in the US and shared his post with us.

His approach to management on the run is quite different to my own (RH) as I pump and turn down, whereas he uses slow acting insulin and doesn’t reduce his dosage. The detail with which he talks about his management on the run gives a really good guide for anybody wanting to better understand his approach and perhaps consider what it might offer them, and whether they might modify it or copy it directly.

One final note to Australian and New Zealand type 1s reading race reports from the US. The glucose measurement system used by Americans is in a different unit to how we measure blood sugar, and the ratio is 18:1. If an American says that their blood sugar is 90, that is what we would refer to as 5.0. Otherwise Igor would be in a coma rather than perfectly controlled, so don’t get confused  🙂

To read about Igor’s run, please continue here

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My Big Red Run Race Report

My Big Red Run Race Report

Type1Ultra articles and links are meant to be more diabetes-focused than just normal race reports or running/endurance information. But I wrote this latest piece for The Blister, a major running club’s magazine, so it’s more general news. Hope you enjoy it anyway! Big Red Run was certainly diabetes-focuse so that more than averages it out I reckon  🙂 

I’ll have a writeup here soon of our 190km fastpack/powermarch/trailrun from Bendigo to Ballarat. My Accu-Chek Mobile glucose meter failed me disappointingly early on the second day with about 100km still to go, which definitely could have been a critical problem if a nurse 40km later hadn’t been a quick thinker and a genuine help, lending me an Optium Xceed for the remainder of the run.

I am not going to brand bash here. The Mobile is an incredibly convenient unit to use. It would be nice if it was smaller and lighter, but no other BGL meter that I know of comes as an all-in-one package which is so ideal for sports on the go. Different versions of the same unit have done a great job for me in Sahara, Atacama, Antarctica, the Simpson Desert, and the Gobi – even after dropping from height onto a hard floor. But if a company is going to price disposable cartridges at $30 each, the cartridges better work. Just saying.

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Big Red Run, what a brilliant week in the desert by Roger Hanney

The trouble with being type 1 is that you do the things you do to more or less deny the constraints of type 1 diabetes from having any power over your life and the choices you make. But, at the end of the day, if that strategy works – and perhaps moreso if it doesn’t – it’s necessary to acknowledge the role that your D plays in your choices and actions, and discuss its effects, or absence, in your outcomes. Why? Because even though there is a rapidly growing movement and body of information out there, existing to empower and activate more and more type 1s who might otherwise be cocooned in the false belief that full lives are not for them, there is still a majority opinion in practice that type 1s are somehow less capable of great things than the rest of the world’s pancreatically-enabled thrillseekers.
My hope is that other type 1s working in and around endurance sports will contribute to this site, so that it may become part of a growing network of information repositories, easily found and used by newly diagnosed and longstanding diabetics alike, families, friends, and parents recently stunned by an entirely unanticipated diagnosis, and any of the many political, regulatory, and health-based institutions still malignantly purveying the lie, “You can’t”.

run, eat, sleep, run.

Before reading any further, if you are living with type 1 diabetes, please know that you aren’t allowed to use it as an excuse – for anything. Hitting the ‘Quit’ button because you have type 1 is the biggest mistake you can make. Regardless of what health practitioners might try to tell you, the risks posed to you by inactivity and lack of fitness, lack of will-power, and lack of self-reliance are far greater than those posed by your condition alone. Anything is possible, if you choose to really do it.

Like every multiday desert run, and every Racing The Planet 250km event that we’ve run and loved in the past, the Big Red Run finished last week by bringing us back to the place where we began. This time, it wasn’t San Pedro, or Cairo, or Kashgar, or even Ushuaia. It was Birdsville. And like every other time we’ve…

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