Novo Nordisk was born out of a mission to truly put patients first,
supporting the 382 million people around the world living with
diabetes.* Since the beginning, we’ve continually looked for ways to
create programs that not only help those living with diabetes manage
their respective conditions – but to show them what’s possible when
you do. Team Novo Nordisk – the first all-diabetes professional
cycling team – came together through a partnership between Phil
Southerland and Novo Nordisk to inspire, educate and empower those
affected by diabetes.
Today, the larger team is comprised of nearly 100 athletes from over
20 countries – riding, running, and swimming in a race to change
diabetes. One of Team Novo Nordisk’s pro cyclists is Canadian -- Reid
McClure from Calgary, Alberta. Reid was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes
at the age of three. We had a moment to catch up with Reid about
cycling, life outside of racing, and what he’s learned from being part
of the team.
Reid McClure: Races are usually around mid-day, which is kind
of nice! I usually wake up around 9 or 10 and make sure to get in a
pre-race meal which is something simple and light on the stomach.
Lately, it’s been plain white rice with soy sauce, eggs and avocado.
Sometimes we’re lucky and the race is right outside of our hotel, but
other times we need to jump on the team bus and drive there. Either
way, my pre-race ritual always involves a little bit of music. It’s a
great way to get me race-ready – but you don’t want to have too much
nervous energy when you’re beginning what can be up to a five hour race!
RM: I need to pay attention to the same things every other
person with diabetes does. I need to make sure my blood sugar is in my
target range. If it’s not, it can be something that really holds me
back in my performance.
RM: I’ve never been on a team of people without diabetes! What
I will say, though, is it’s nice to be on a team where everyone
understands the implications of being a rider with diabetes. We also
have really awesome, incredible staff that are so knowledgeable and
there to help us when we need it.
RM: I train pretty much every day. I really only take about a
day off each month. My routine is always changing because I need to
fit it into my racing and travelling schedule – but an average week
includes about 20 to 25 hours of riding. Whatever I can do to get in
as much time as I can on the bike. When I train, I always make sure I
have some food with me just in case. You work hard so you get hungry!
But I also have food with me because I’m always checking my glucose
levels so I can make sure I’m within my range and performing at my best.
RM: It’s kind of funny because you’d think racing is a passion
but it’s really more of my job at this point. When I’m not on the
bike, I really enjoy baking. I’m really into bread right now – even
though that may not be super diabetes-friendly.
RM: Just get out there and do whatever you enjoy! That might be
cycling but it also might not – but of course, I’m a little biased.
I’d recommend you find a group of people you can connect with. There
are a lot of support groups for all sorts of different passions within
the diabetes community. Try googling to see if there’s one in your
hometown that’s active. That’s what I did and I found a group online
of Type 1 cyclists that host rides on weekends. Finding a group like
that can be really motivating.
RM: The most important thing I’ve learned is just to make sure
you’re thinking primarily about your health. Whatever you choose when
it comes to how you eat or how you exercise, just treat your body well!
To learn more about Team Novo Nordisk, visit teamnovonordisk.com.
* Global incidence statistics per the International Diabetes
Federation as of 2013.