5 Ramadan Workout Tips for Runners
Fasting is hard enough but imagine fitting in workouts whilst fasting. This might seem impossible/ unfathomable to many, especially us non-fasting folk, but for some of our Muslim friends, the Ramadan period is no excuse not to squeeze in a little workout whether before sahur or after iftar, or during the fasting hours. We asked Jubaque, adidas creator (aka seeded runner), Kyserun Krew member and marathoner (PB: 3hr 13, Chiang Mai Marathon 2017) to share his Ramadan workout tips for runners.
1. WORKOUT BEFORE SAHUR
RUN AFTER 12AM. If you are in the midst of training for an event or need to clock in extra mileage during the Ramadan period, and you find it difficult to squeeze in an LSD session during the fasting period. Then I would recommend you should run after 12am. The best times would probably be around 2-3am as you need your stomach to digest the foods from Iftar. Running too early (i.e 9/10pm) might lead to side stitches or feeling uncomfortable due to a full belly. Of course, this is merely a suggestion, there are those who run at 10pm as well. I usually squeeze a decent 2 hour run around 2/3AM during the weekends. So, I’d just do a long run and rest after Sahur. However, for those can only work out during the weekdays then I’d recommend a Light 30 Minute Workout. I usually start around 4.45AM and it helps keep my body pumped and active throughout the day!
1. push up x 10
2. sit up x 50
3. and/or pull up x 10
3 reps each.
Running is not feasible as it will be too short and too much of a hassle after as I have to rush to change for work but if you feel you are able to squeeze in a short run then go ahead. Of course, I must point out that for safety reasons, do run with a group, especially ladies, if you choose to run outdoors.
2. FUELLING SMART
HYDRATE CONSTANTLY. Drink as much water as you can throughout the night, small amounts every 30 minutes to keep your body hydrated, especially after a long day of fasting. Try to avoid drinking coffee at night as it will dehydrate you. For iftar, I will normally break fast with water + chia seeds. My normal sahur will be 1 toast with peanut butter – plus water – which is more than enough to last me throughout the day.
3, DON’T OVER INDULGE
AVOID EATING TOO MUCH! After a long day of fasting you’d sometimes feel compelled to over indulge on all the yummy food! But try to avoid going too crazy at the Ramadan bazaars. You’re not meant to cover 2 meals (lunch & dinner) when you break fast. A normal dinner portion will do. I practice eating slowly so that my stomach can digest food properly, eating slowly acts as a signal to your body that you are full. Eating too fast however, the stomach can only send signals to your brain that it is full after certain time.
4. PRE-IFTAR WORKOUTS
PRE-IFTAR IS THE BEST TIME TO WORK OUT. It’s the best way to lose weight! Scientifically, working out before Iftar can heighten you metabolism and how your body uses your fat as fuel instead. You might be feeling a little low on energy during that time, but trust me it’s all a mental game. Try to incorporate some HIIT training just before Iftar preferably around 5pm-6pm (by the time you finish, you can already break fast!). Due to my busy schedule, I can only squeeze in lunchtime workouts which I do daily, that is a quick 6-10km on the threadmill and some light core workout. Do I get thirsty? yes! but it’s only temporary.You’ll be back to normal by 2-3pm (and still manage to be productive at work). You’d feel fresher than before.
5. POST-SAHUR WORKOUTS
WORKOUT AFTER SAHUR. Why not if u have the time. Short run will do, as long as u start ur day feeling good and well fuelled then
Usually if I work out after sahur, I’d just to an easy 10km run + pull up + plank. You can run a shorter distance instead, and if you are worried about feeling tired after then it’s best to workout during the weekends.