Living with Diabetes

Diabetes and Fitness – a Personal View from a member of the West Suffolk Diabetes Team

Hello out there to all you fitness fans. I have had Type 1 Diabetes for 14 years now and throughout this time I have always pursued with my love of sport.

I am an avid tennis player and in 2005 for the first time I attempted my first ever half marathon ‘The Great North Run’.

I can’t tell you that the training was easy, in fact I found it quite hard at times, especially when you have to increase your training by increasing your mileage and it did take a lot out of me physically, but boy am I glad I did it!  The race was just such a fantastic experience to take part in and I found that I was at 10 miles before I even started to feel the pain (so to speak).

The training and my food consumption was quite different from my usual regime when I play tennis, as I had to make sure that I had enough food in my body to sustain the energy to get me round my 10 mile training route, so I would eat things like bananas and high fibre snacks before I ran and then I would always make sure that I had a good breakfast when I got back to take me through the rest of the day, as I found that for most of the day after a long run I hardly needed any insulin at all.  I would always run my 10 mile runs in the morning, therefore giving me the rest of the day to check my blood glucose levels and get my body back to normal so that I could have a good nights sleep (without worrying about hypos).  At all times, I would be carrying my Lucozade tablets in my pocket should I require additional energy on my way round, but to be honest that didn’t really happen.

I managed to raise 589.00 for Diabetes UK, so well worth the hard work, I would say.  I still run, play tennis, bike ride (I competed in the Bury Bike Ride last year and plan to do so again this year).

So to all you folks out there who are thinking ‘can I do this, as I am a diabetic’?  The answer is YES, you can do anything you want!


The author of this article is Mrs Linda Whipp who is an Administrator at the West Suffolk Hospital Diabetes Centre