Long term sport outcomes

I recently had cause to review my near 10 year old copy of the book Diabetic Athlete’s Handbook. Looking at all the runners in it and then searching online for their current results, it is clear that the physical abilities of most of them have declined substantially. Much more than is explained by their increase in age.
This is yet more evidence that current treatment methods produce good short term, but not so good long term outcomes. Lots of T1s manage in a way that works for them, until one day it doesn’t.
No doubt the next edition of the book will feature a new bunch of young athletes getting good short term results and the diabetes community will pat itself on the back.
But I doubt that any older athletes featured will have age-grade and all-round performances to match my own.

I didn’t realize there was a Diabetic Athelte’s Handbook! What are the methods they use that you say were good short-term, but not long-term?

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@mike_g, and to what do you give credit for your success?

Hey Nicky, I’m wondering if you confused my avatar (or lack thereof) with the OP?

If you want to talk sports successes, I once was a fairly successful high school runner, running 5ks in the fall and 400m and 800m in the spring… But that’s been about 25 years ago!

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It’s the mike g, nick m, and Nicky g… i’m lucky i didn’t respond to myself. :smiley:

I used to be a fairly successful runner in high school, too. Also… i don’t want to do the math but some years ago… but i’m back running again! And training for a 5k no less. 26 years later… life is funny. :slight_smile:


Hey, glad you’re back in it. I think that will help you on many levels!

I played football and ran cross country during the fall, since it was a small school, they let me do both sports at once. Football is what I wanted to play, and cross country is what I was more suited to (at that time, 6’1", 175#), so which sport do you suppose got more attention, training wise? Football, of course! Which sport did I have more success at, was I naturally better at? Not football.

I think there’s a moral here about working with the cards we’ve been dealt, one I’m constantly needing reminding on…

Anyway, in recent years in I’ve been training compound weight training lifts:. Squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press. I think it has been beneficial overall. However, I think I should work in some cardio, though.

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Because what’s the fun in that really? :smiley:

I should’ve played soccer. It’s my build. I wanted to play basketball… that was my football. I was small, worked hard, and actually was quite good. I still play… against imaginary opponents. I’m sure it looks odd, but people don’t get that the competition is fierce. :smiley:

That sounds great! I think it’s really just nice to be able to enjoy and excel in something. I would try it with squats and deadlifts and such, but the excelling part is kind of important, and I’m not sure I would. I have been lifting the same 10 lb weights for the same amount of reps, sets, etc. for going on 15 years strong… at this point I think it’s just so my muscle doesn’t collapse back into itself as there is surely no longer any growth. But where you could use cardio, I could probably freshen up in the strengthening department. We’ll swap notes. :smiley:

DN, are you still doing your core work?

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I am. I was just sitting here staring at the rain… thinking about whether or not it was worth getting up for. :slightly_smiling_face: do you ask because you doubt me? Or for another good reason??

Diabetes is not a disability. It won’t get you to the Paralympics. In fact it is specifically recognised as not being an impediment to sporting success at the highest level. So rather that “why am I so successful relative to other T1s my age?”, perhaps the question should be “why are so many T1s with an interest in sport not doing nearly as well in age-adjusted terms in later life, relative to how they performed as teens or young adults?”.

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I’m not familiar with the book to which you’ve referrred or to the numbers you are considering. The first thing I wonder if it’s out of proportion to the general population?? Lots of people aren’t doing as well in age-adjusted terms later in life for a multitude of reasons. Are you saying there’s something specific to diabetes management then as causation? I saw my neurosurgeon a couple of months back, and we talked about keeping up an active lifestyle. He said, and I quote, “it’s harder to get people to exercise than it is to get them to give up crack.” He was talking about his diabetic patients.

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jeez, i’m 54yrs old and i am swimming 4-5 days a week. in fact, i am swimming more now than i did when i was younger. and i spend plenty of time in the neighborhood pool which imho is enough to know that people of every age, young and elderly, are enjoying themselves doing lap after lap. ( and quite often the elderly swim much faster than i do.)

maybe it is b/c swimming is not so stressful to the body as other sports are and can be (i.e. running, tennis, baseball, basketball, etc) so perhaps there is less of a body “burn out” ???


Yes, most T1s aren’t interested in being physically active, but tens of thousands are. I have spent many years collecting data on the most successful older T1 athletes ( and athletes with Addison’s) and it is pretty obvious that most of them have not managed their disease as doctors recommend, or like the current younger generation of T1 athletes do. Nor were most of them recognized by the diabetes community in their younger years. By standing on their shoulders I have gone from being someone who wasn’t good enough to represent my school to recently running the 200m in 26.18s, and age grade of over 90%. As well as doing three of the worldloppet ski marathons in the last year, the most recent being the 50km event in Japan.


Wow,. You’re a 58 year old running a 26 second 200? That’s awesome!

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Back to your original post, It is a curious question. Poor diabetes management might be a factor in their age related decline. It’d be interesting to see some data points from these folks, ideally a study, but even anecdotally: what are their age-graded performances, at young and older age? what are their A1Cs, at young and older age? maybe more importantly: what are the complications at young and older age?

If they haven’t managed their diabetes well between their young and older age performances, I’d not be surprised to see them performing worse, on an age-graded basis than someone who has managed their diabetes well over the same time frame. Lots of complications can come into play: vascular and nervous complications, I suspect, among many possible.

Thanks Mike.
And yet you won’t see that performance mentioned by any diabetes organization. Nor will it appear in the next edition of Diabetes Athlete’s Handbook. Nor are you likely to hear about the exceptional performances by some other over 50yo T1s. You will hear about many inferior performances by young women who spruik the party line of “reduce insulin, eat more carbs before exercise”
The diabetes world is full of partial truths, which according to the dictum “a half truth is a lie” should really be called fake news.

Given that I have been offering to present that information in the appropriate forum for the last 10 years, perhaps you should ask why you don’t already have it. You could ask those diabetes organizations why my study was rejected without explanation or comment.
You didn’t ask about diet, but commonsense says if you want to be successful in the long term, either athletically or complication-wise, you should eat like successful older T1s have eaten. Lots of data has been collected on that, yet you won’t read about it in any official publication, nor will you find it in the the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
JDRF claim to have given $A 2,000,000,000 to research and related T1 endeavours, yet it appears that the question of what sort of diet is associated with good long-term outcomes has not been officially researched.
Do you think that perhaps it has been looked at, but the answers were too embarrassing to publish?
Do you think that $A 2b has been well spent?
If you had $A 10m to donate, what research would you like to see done? And why has that research not been done already?


I agree, diet is very important for long term avoidance of complications. It seems from what I’ve seen, folks following some variant of the Dr Bernstein diet (low carb, approx 30 grams per day) have good short term results, anecdotally, and long-term, in the case of Bernstein himself (T1D for 72 years now). It isn’t well-received by official diabetes-advocacy type groups, from what I’ve seen.

Is this the diet you’re following, or you’re referring to?

How has your diabetes management been over your diabetic life? Any thoughts to contribute on how to do it well?

The research dollars point is a good question. One might cynically ask whether, at some level, they want diabetes cured, or whether it is a significant cash cow that generates billions of dollars in medical revenue, that they don’t dare kill.

Absolutely NOT. Have you looked at the physical performance of the T1gritters? Specifically the best 5k 10k and half marathon times?
I have asked Dr B’s disciples many times in many forums to nominate their best Masters athletes, with no response.
I don’t see his diet as being bad for performance in very short event eg throwing, or in ultra events where the slow pace means that the lower energy delivery rate of fat metabolism is not an impediment.
But perhaps you should ask them to show their bsl traces while running 21.1k at greater than 90% of VO2max.
I haven’t seen evidence of Dr B doing any more than go to the weights gym. If that is all you want, well and good.
To me, spending vast amounts of time perfecting your bsl control makes you a victim of your disease.
Not only that, it completely misses the point that there is far more to managing diabetes than just managing blood sugar.