Ramadan and running

Ramadan is a month of spirituality, joy, sharing and celebration around the world. It is a very important time for Muslims. Fasting from sunrise to sunset is an aspect of Ramadan that has an impact for runners – but it doesn’t mean you have to stop running.

During the Holy Month, there is no blueprint for maintaining your normal fitness routine; keeping your regular routine throughout the day whilst fasting is challenging enough all on its own! While you may want to give your body maximum rest after a long day, it is also important to keep a tab on your daily consumption of food and hydration requirements.

When it comes to staying healthy and fit in Ramadan, it is a good idea not to be hard on yourself. There are times for PBs and peak training and this is not one of them! It’s important to remind yourself that whatever you feel you might ‘lose’ in terms of fitness during any ‘down time’ is much less than you think.

During Ramadan, when you are not taking in water or food from sunrise to sunset, easier workouts at the end of the day are sensible. If you have health concerns of any kind, you should always speak to your doctor before undertaking exercise or making changes to your diet.

Your sleep and nutrition intake is different than during your normal days and change in exercise routine is naturally to be expected. There is no right or wrong time to run during Ramadan. You can run right before you break your fast or you can run after breaking your fast.

When I’m observing a fast in Ramadan, I tend to listen to my body, as it helps me gauge how my training should look like. My preferred time of training is usually the time between the evening prayer and the night prayer. The sessions are usually more of strength and conditioning in the gym and slow runs outdoors, if the weather permits.

Nutrition and hydration play a crucial role in your training plan during the month of Ramadan, as your window to take in important nutrients is smaller. Although it’s tempting to reach for quick fixes, I have found that sticking only to fruits for iftar can help to stay active and fresh.

During Ramadan

• Listen to your body.

• Keep your sessions easy.

• Hydration is super important!

• Avoid high-intensity training.

• Be mindful of nutrition

• Don’t forget to sleep! Fatigue can have a major effect on mood, and motivation.

• This is a month of peace and wellbeing. Don’t stress if you miss a workout or a run to spend time with your loved ones.

So, make the most of this blessed month and I hope you come feeling spiritually and physically refreshed.

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