A new program gives people with diabetes a way to tap into their inner runner -- and a fun incentive to "get off the couch," if that's what's needed.
Nope, this isn’t another group of high-octane marathon runners and triathletes. Instead, it's a new grassroots program called Type One Run that describes itself as "a group of ordinary people dedicated to building support, community, and awareness for those affected by type 1 diabetes through running."
They're working to build a network of T1D running communities all over the country and world by providing motivation, resources, and even a "starter kit" and support for establishing your own local chapter. No money involved, and no need to be an existing power athlete.
This Fall, Type One Run joined the Beyond Type 1 non-profit family, and is now supported by that powerhouse advocacy org.
Currently, there are 61 chapters across the world, involving hundreds of individual runners. Beyond Type 1 tells us that new chapters are popping up weekly.
Two Great T1D Guys
The two California-based founders are longtime D-peeps:
Craig Stubing was 13 at the time of his T1D diagnosis nearly two decades ago, and through the years he’s nurtured his creative streak with filmmaking and his Beta Cell Podcast, where he educates and advocates.
James Mansfield was diagnosed in 2006 during his time at college in San Francisco. That led to a love for running that helped his D-management.
The pair founded Type One Run in early 2017, to share the feelings of empowerment they’d experienced through running and to build a community for PWDs.
“We noticed that most of our runners had already been running with T1D for a while, but there were a lot of people out there who wanted to get into running and didn't know how,” Mansfield says.
Couch to 5K (!)
To address that, they tapped another type 1 and fitness expert, Cliff Sherb (former coach of the the Team Type 1 triathlon team), to help develop a plan to get people who had never run before (or ran very little) be able to cross the finish line of their first 5K. He helped create what's called Couch to 5K, a six-week beginner program with tips and hints for how to best manage your running with T1D.
It includes a strength workout schedule and best practices info on nutrition and insulin dosing while gradually increasing your running capabilities.
As of now, they have 675 members participating in a Facebook group who offer peer support and encouragement in the D-Community spirit.
"One of our best success stories is actually the one that helped launched Type One Run from an LA running group to what it is today," Mansfield tells us, referring to their first SoCal Ragnar Relay experience in 2017 (full story here).
“We're constantly starting new chapters and connecting new runners with existing ones, so most of our time is spent building these little running communities,” he adds.
They also recently started using the Strava app's club function to track all of their runners' activities.
Just Do It
The next big event is planned for early May, when a bunch of the more ambitious PWD runners will meet up in Central California for the Wildflower Triathlon. Some are competing individually and others on relay teams.
But the point is, even if you never plan to see a Triathlon in your entire life, Type One Run still has much to offer and wants to get you involved, the founders remind us. There's absolutely no reason to be intimidated. On the contrary, if you've been worried about how get started, or about experiencing hypoglycemia or injuring yourself, this program offers a nice safety net -- not to mention a great way to make new T1D friends in your area.
You can search for a local chapter here.
Or click here to learn about creating your own chapter.
We’re pleased to see this kind of grassroots effort focused on fitness for "ordinary" PWDs! And we thank Beyond Type 1 for stepping up to be the backbone of this group, not unlike how they stepped in to rescue the TuDiabetes online communities last summer.
Jolly good job, D-Friends. Now, off to the races...