There isn't a ton out there for T2s. As a type 2 runner, I mostly just followed beginning runner advice in Runners World and from John Bingham (No Need for Speed). There isn't going to be a ton of difference in regimines for you, especially if you are not taking a sulfonylurea like glimepiride (which helps produce more insulin...and most T2s have a surplus of insulin). If you are only on Metformin or on no drugs at all, you will almost likely never deal with lows during a run... though watch post-run lows, about 1 to 2 hours after.
Most of your nutrition and medication concerns will depend directly on the frequency, duration, and intensity of your runs. As a beginner, you should be on the low end of all those. You do yourself no good if you go out there and try to blast it to early. My first run a year and a half ago (at age 41) was a half of a mile, and I thought I was going to die. I ran a 20 miler on saturday in the run up to my first marathon (may 30th). I felt great.
As a T2 runner you are at a disadvantage compared to other runners without diabetes for a several reasons. The most obvious is that we suffer from a metabolic disorder and don't process fuel as efficiently as others. The good news is that the very act of running (and resistance training as well) helps that by increasing the capillary density in our muscles and therefore helps with insulin uptake. The second disadvantage is that we don't process oxygen as efficiently (apprx. 25% less efficiently). Increasing capillary density and aerobic capacity through running helps with that. Finally, and probably most importantly the older you get and the longer the distances or the higher the intensity you run, is that we don't heal as quickly or efficiently as those without diabetes.
Also, if you haven't already go to a running shoe store (not a sporting goods store) and get fitted for a proper pair of running shoes. I also recommend inserts such as Superfeet. In the end you will spend 130 - 150.00 for a pair of both, but it will be worth it. Get appropriate shorts and shirts as well. My first 6 months I ran with underwear and regular shorts and was having all kinds of skin problems which were exacerbated by my diabetes. Now, no problems.
As a type 2 I would mostly caution you to not be afraid of carbs, especially while exercising. Early in a running program, it doesn't make a lot of difference, your body will be using more free fatty acids for fuel, than glycogen, but as you get faster and more effecient, refueling is important. I've seen type 2 runners talking about bonking because they were afraid of carbs while running... and that's just stupid. Especially on runs longer than 6 miles, you should have a gel like a GU. Your body will burn those carbs right away.
As your daily/weekly mileage increases you should start doing hip and core work. Strengthening hip flexors, extensors, abductors, and adductors, as well as abs and lower back will allow you to do longer runs without much pain, especially in the illiotibial band. Tendon and ligaments take longer to heal in non-diabetic runners, so diabetic runners have to take extra care with those tissues.
When I first started running, I saw my medication intake go down with my blood sugars. Its now gone up with my food intake. At about 30 miles a week I had to start approaching medication as a T1 would insulin: I had to start taking more, because I had to eat more, to refuel with all the milage I was putting in. If I didn't start eating more, especially carbs, my body was going to start using muscle for fuel, something very counterproductive for long distance runners.
All this said, I am an atypical type 2. when I was diagnosed at 38 I was not overweight. By the time I started running at 41 I had let things go a bit. But after a year of running I had lost close to 40 pounds and am now about 148 lbs. But now I am being tested for MODY -- Mature Onset Diabetes of the Young, which is different than LADA (type 1.5) in that it is not an auto-immune disease but a genetic order related to specific genes.
Regardless of how the tests turn out, I have treated myself, and will continue to in the near future as a type 2. Its had enough of an impact on me that I've gotten a personal trainer certification and hope to soon start a business working with type 2s.
You should check out the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association (www.diabetes-exercise.org) and Sheri Colberg's "The Diabetic Athlete's Handbook". While both are more geared towards T1s there is good info for type 2s. I just formed a chapter of DESA in Madison WI, and we are planning events for this summer, including run/walks, and rides.
I am working on a website, and will let people know when its up and running, in the meantime, good luck, and if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.
If you are new to diabetes advocacy in the traditional sense of the word, you may be thinking, “What the heck is a docket!?” I certainly was the first twenty times I heard it (yes it took that long). For Read on! →
Dear Ms. Rosenthal: I am a person living with type 1 diabetes since the age of 30. I am also the President and co-Founder of the Diabetes Hands Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at connecting and mobilizing the diabetes community. Seeing Read on! →