Skip Nav
Tips For Running With Diabetes

POPSUGAR / paid for by / C9 Champion® at Target

Source: POPSUGAR Photography

Everywhere you turn there are incredible people doing inspiring things. We partnered with C9 Champion® at Target and Type I Diabetic ultrarunner and endurance athlete Robin Arzon and get her training tips for living and training with diabetes.

Type 1 diabetics can do anything non-Type 1 diabetics can do. As long as you take care of your body and monitor your blood sugar level regularly, there's nothing stopping you from pursuing all sorts of athletic endeavors. You just have to pay much closer attention to your body than a non-Type 1 might.

But for New York-based Type 1 athlete Robin Arzon, just being a runner wasn't satisfying enough. After being diagnosed with Type 1 in 2014, this lawyer-turned-ultramarathoner didn't let the disease slow down her fitness goals one bit (she was already an ultramarathoner when she was diagnosed). She admits that it's much harder and time consuming, but she's been able to make it work. Find out how she's adjusted to being a Type 1 ultramarathoner and what she's learned:

1. Technology is everything

As soon as Robin was diagnosed, she turned to a friend, another Type 1 athlete, to find out what technology was available to her. "I aggressively pursued technology because I knew that would make a difference in my training," she says. "I wear a pump that administers my insulin and a glucose monitor that takes my blood sugar without me having to prick my finger. They've allowed me to train pretty uninterrupted."

2. Things are going to change

"I do 30-40 hours of training a week, and that didn't really change. What changed was me having to be patient with learning my number and insulin ratios. I know now that if I do a long run I reduce my insulin by 50 percent and that will keep me at a good place. But you always need a good backup. That self-awareness is part and parcel of being an endurance athlete anyway."

3. Get comfortable adjusting your tools

Just because Robin has an insulin pump and glucose monitor doesn't mean her job is done. She's constantly tinkering with them, learning about how much insulin she really needs based on her meals and upcoming workouts. "It's really important to play with insulin ratios so you can reduce your insulin if you need to. Before, it was really frustrating and sometimes demoralizing not being able to finish races because I didn't know my sugar level."

4. Always run with food on you

Most endurance athletes run with energy-fueling food on them anyway, but for Robin it's absolutely crucial. If blood sugar runs low during a training session, she needs immediate sugar. "You must have some kind of food on you. I usually bring GUs, gels, and I love clementines — I'll actually carry them in my sports bra." And for those moments when you'd rather consume liquid, she recommends coconut water, which still has carbs.

5. Accept that it's scary

"I did a half marathon two weeks after being diagnosed, and I was terrified because I didn't know how my body was going to react," she shares. "I have to think about [Diabetes] 24 hours a day and it's really scary. Sometimes I say, 'Sh*t, if I don't get my blood sugar up I could be passed out on the side of the road somewhere.'"

6. Realize you're actually a superhero

Being a Type 1 endurance athlete will definitely present you with challenges. "When you keep doing what you love anyway it reinforces your armor. Your life is not going to be dictated by being a diabetic. The fact that I now have insulin as part of my tool kit — i call it my superhero kit — makes me want to rise above."

7. Look to yourself for inspiration

Because diabetes is a nonstop, 24-hour disease, Robin never gets to forget she has it; she never gets to put her feet up and ignore it. "There are many moments throughout the week that require me to rise above, so I always have a touchstone for what I'm capable of," she says. Those moments — the checking her sugar and regularly adjusting her insulin ratios based on her activity or even stress level — remind her that she's inspiring herself.

More from C9 Champion® at Target

Image Source: Steven Counts
Related Stories paid for by C9 Champion® at Target
What to Buy From the Target Designer Dress Collection
18 At Home Live Streaming Workouts
This Dance Teacher Creates Community While Social Distancing
Family Friendly Easter DIY Projects
What You Need to Celebrate Easter at Home
Family Outfit Ideas For Easter
How to Personalize Easter Baskets For Kids
Valentine's Day Cards For Everyone You Love
Karina Banda's New Challenge Is Hosting Juntos We Shine
Meet Juntos We Shine Podcast Host Karina Banda
Juntos We Shine Podcast Interview With Regina Merson
Holiday Outfit Ideas From Target
Gifts For Stylish Guys
Reina Rebelde Makeup Line Founder Regina Merson Interview
Practical Holiday Gifts For Men
Gifts For Every Guy in Your Life
Where to Shop Fall Basics For Kids
Kelsey Martinez is Stepping Up Her Community's Game
"The Poet X" Writer Elizabeth Acevedo Interview
Juntos We Shine Podcast Talent Elizabeth Acevedo Interview
Juntos We Shine Podcast Talent Interview Kelsey Martinez
Juntos We Shine
Portable Potty Training Essentials
Juntos We Shine Podcast Talent Interview With Lisa Aldridge
Lisa Aldridge Juntos We Shine Video Interview
Andrea Chediak Hosts "Juntos We Shine" Podcast