Monday, January 10, 2011

Speed Work, Running, and Blood Sugars

I want to run a variety of races in 2011 - a few half marathons, 1 full, and some other random distances just for fun. One thing I struggled with this summer/early fall is training for a half marathon and a 5k at the same time. It was hard to balance speed work with quality distance runs for me, plus I was still trying to build up my iron count. After looking at various race calendars, the earliest half I could do would be in March, with gives me plenty of time to train. Although, I must admit, I'm already in half shape, and pretty good half shape. On Friday I ran 10 miles at a 7:38 pace. However, being in half shape is far different than being in 5k shape.

I know that speed work is an ideal part of most training plans for half and full marathons, but I'm just not a real fan of it, and never have been. I am going to do a 5k for St. Patrick's Day on March 12, so I decided this weekend that I better start to train for it, as I want to PR (21 here I come!). Today I did 5 miles at a 7:25 average, but my miles got progressively faster as I went along. I think today's run was a nice building block for me for the next couple months of preparation for my 5k and possibly half/halves in the spring.

One thing that I have noticed much more with quick runs as opposed to slower run (8:00 miles) is the impact on my blood sugar. Although I might end my workout with a blood sugar of 70, which although is not ideal, is fine for me, I spike big time post-workout. I used to completely disconnect from my pump when I ran, but now I leave it on the whole time and don't bother to reduce the basal rate. I eat some Shot Bloks as I workout because I need the energy anyway. It just seems to work better, although afterward I'm still going higher than I would like. I realize it is not possible to always be between 80-100, especially after a meal, but I don't like to see my blood sugars going higher an hour after I work out for no apparent reason on some days, but stays fine on other days. It is a mystery on life to me.

Does this happen to you? Or, do you know the cause?


  1. My blood sugars tend to run dangerously high after I exercise. Whether it's a short 5k run or a 21k run. I've gotten in the habit of turning off my 25% TBR half an hour before I'm done exercising and immediately putting it at 140%-150% for 4-6hours. So far its helping but not perfect yet.

  2. I've noticed that my blood sugars jump after running in two scenarios:
    - when I haven't eaten anything. I usually run first thing in the morning and if I don't have anything (even something small) my sugars will jump, but they will come right back down with a correction bolus.
    - If I am doing a speed workout then my sugars sometimes jump due to the release of hormones (mostly adrenaline) associated with intense exercise. Since the jump is caused by hormones a correction bolus doesn't help as much.

    Enjoy your training!!

  3. Sorry so late to comment but I am a Type I and have had the best bg's using Chocolate # 9 product on any 1hr workouts run, bike, swim but the Chocolate #9 product locks up your bg's amazingly(for me and my wife) also check out the Type I's bike across amercia team this is where I found out about the product. What I like is going into a hr spin class at say bg 80 and coming out at with the same 80-110 or so it works great, the only thing I have found is that sometimes you need about almost 2 to 1 of these comparied to some other gels.

    PS I do some sprint tri's just to keep my bg's in control what I like about this product is no notice of a big spike.