Sprinting Experiment

I’ve been planning to do this for ages and finally got off my backside yesterday. Some diabetics will know from experience that vigorous exercise can lead to higher blood glucose readings. Why? Because the body senses you need more energy due to sprinting or hill work or hard circuit work. The result is the liver flooding your body with glucose.

For “norms” out there this is no problem. The body just releases some insulin to maintain homeostasis. Diabetics either don’t have enough insulin to compensate or are too insulin resistant to compensate.

As an aside, I’m still not 100% sure which I am: resistant or insulin depleted. Maybe a combination of both. I’m hoping to get some bloodwork done to be sure.

The Experiment

I already knew that sprinting usually leads to a glucose spike for me. I wanted to see if some walking after the sprint work would bring my mmol/L back down relatively quickly. Before I left the house, I checked my blood glucose: 6.9 mmol/L.

I warmed up as usual with a light jog and stretching. I then did six wind sprints followed by some walking to get the blood going. The wind sprints are just a part of the warm-up to avoid injury.

Once I was warmed up, I did six twelve second sprints. In between sprints, I walked about 100 metres. By the end of my sprint routine and warm-up, I travelled about a kilometre. My blood reading after the sprints was 8.0 mmol/L. So a significant uptick in blood sugar.

I walked another four kilometres and checked my blood when I got home: 7.8 mmol/L. I then ate a keto lunch: some cheddar cheese, coffee with cream and collagen*, a square of 95% chocolate and a handful of walnuts and pecans.

An hour later I checked my blood again: 8.8 mmol/L. Not ideal. I was hoping the intense exercise and walk would help me avoid a glucose spike after lunch. No such luck.


I’m a big believer in the paleo argument for sprinting: we were made to run fast in order to chase animals to kill or run away from animals trying to kill us. Unfortunately, as a diabetic, this aspect of the paleo lifestyle brings more negatives than positives. Until I can get my blood glucose really low consistently (4 to 5.5 mmol/L), I’ll have to forego the sprint work.

* I’ve made my coffee cutoff 2:00pm. Walker’s book on Sleep stated that it takes eight hours for caffeine to leave the body.

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