I coach a few triathletes this year who will be observing Ramadan. Ramadan is a month-long fast which lasts from dawn to dusk. As the cycle of the lunar calendar doesn’t match the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan change about 10-11 days each year.
For those of you who don’t know it, Muslims cannot drink or eat during this time. So, for those of you who intermittently fast, just think about doing this for 30 days! Can you do it?
I’ve looked at a number of athletes’ profiles and what they’ve done over the past few years and most athletes’ approaches have been similar in nature. Generally speaking, most athletes will do one workout per day, as it’s all about maintaining your fitness as much as possible. This means a reduction in training volume for many. You don’t really need to worry too much currently, as a lot of us are locked down during this Covid-19 crisis anyway.
As an endurance athlete who competes in events that require hours of exertion, one of your main challenges during Ramadan is to adapt your body to the changes in timing of workouts and maintain as muscle mass even while fasting. To do this, maintain your training schedule and prepare your meals to make sure that you are getting the calories and protein you will need to fuel for your training and recovery. During Ramadan, expect about 5-7 days of consistent training for your body to adapt and for the training to feel “normal” again
Potentially, you can train before Iftar, so that you can be done by sunset and immediately compensate for the amount of water lost not only during training, but from fasting for hours during the daylight hours. Your second option is to train two hours after Iftar. In this case, you can eat your primary meal after the workout and opt for something light for Iftar. In fact, if doing more high intensity activities, such has sprint intervals or anaerobic sessions, you’d be better off doing this in the middle of the night and then taking advantage of another small meal after for recovery. Lower intensity aerobic sessions should be performed before sunrise or Suhoor.
The worst time that you can do any training is in the middle of the afternoon as your body will already be in a dehydrated or exhausted state. You also won’t be able to refuel afterwards. So, it’s best to train either before Iftar or in the middle of the night.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Here are a few things to think about when planning your training during Ramadan:
- Stick to your goals but be realistic.
- Think about the number of sessions that you will do per week
- Reduce the amount of time that you will be working out
- Consider the intensities of your workouts
- Plan when you will work out and stick to that training pattern
- Schedule the type of exercises you should perform
- Be conscious of what you eat and when
- Be realistic with your workouts
- Always keep hydrated
I’ve got a few fast and furious tips for you. One of the most important components is to hydrate! It’s important to break fast on proteins and not on sugar! Maintain your level of fitness throughout. Just remember that after Ramadan it’ll take your body just a few days to readjust to the timings and your nutritional needs. And your body composition will definitely change very quickly after that 30-day block of Ramadan.
SAMPLE SWIM SESSION
Here’s a great Fasting Swim Session from our friends at MySwimPro. It’s an ideal intensity after breaking fast.
-4 x 100m Long and Strong
-4 x 50m stroke or IM High Intensity
2 rounds of
-1 x 200m Endurance Effort
-6 x 50m Threshold Effort
-4 x 50m Free Style or stroke
Total Distance/Time: 1800m or 40min
GET IN TOUCH
If you need to adapt your training routine, we’re happy to help!
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