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The Ramadan start date for 2023 is on Wednesday 22nd March. Ramadan involves entering a window of fasting, and therefore, a time of calorie restriction. Training during Ramadan can be a challenge as it requires adjustments to your regular routine and diet. Due to a limited daily intake of all the essential nutrients, recovery is sub-optimal, which can increase the risk of injury. We have put together some suggestions on how you can adjust your training plan so you can still work towards your running goal during Ramadan.
Adjust Your Running Plan
Ramadan is a time of low energy levels, so it’s important that your training load reflects this. We would encourage you to reduce the number of days you train (go to 'Manage plan' > 'Edit Schedule') and the length of sessions / overall mileage ('Manage plan > 'Edit Running Ability), as well as the speed ('Manage plan' > Edit your current estimated time slightly ~30s). This will help to reduce the stress on your body so it can still perform, recover and adapt whilst you are not fuelling a regularly. These are our recommendations; however everyone is different and will respond to Ramadan in different ways. You can alter your training at any time - listen to your body.
Hydration is key during Ramadan, especially before and after your workouts. Ensure you drink enough water during Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and Lftar (evening meal) to keep your body hydrated. You should also minimise caffeine consumption as this dehydrates the body. Adding electrolyte tablets to your water will also help boost your hydration status.
Focus on Nutritional Balance
A balanced diet is important for maintaining good health, and it’s even more critical during Ramadan. Make sure to eat a variety of foods that are rich in protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Also, avoid overeating during Iftar, as it can lead to bloating and sluggishness. Listen to your body's hunger signals.
Sleep is essential for recovery. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to keep your body in top shape and allow your muscles and tissues to recover. This can be more challenging during Ramadan due to getting up early to fuel outside the fasting window and going to bed later for the same reason. This can make sleeping more difficult for some people. We would recommend you control what you can control. Make healthy food choices (avoid a sugar rush before bed), have a consistent bedtime routine or even fit in a cheeky nap during the day! Sleep allows us to adapt to training and so it's really important we try to prioritise this as best we can.
Listen to your body
During Ramadan, your body may feel energetic and fatigued at strange times, so it’s important to listen to it. If you feel tired or sluggish, drop the intensity or volume of your run, or even take an extra rest day. Stop if you feel light headed or dizzy at any point whilst running. Following Ramadan, don’t jump up your training right away. Ease yourself back in and build back up to previous volume and intensity of training gradually.
In conclusion, Ramadan is a time of reflection and self-discipline, and training during this time can help you to achieve both physical and mental health benefits. By following these tips, you can train effectively during Ramadan and keep your fitness to a good level. If you would like any further advice, please reach out to us via the Support Tab.