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Running During Ramadhan with Marlina

The following is a guest post by a fellow runner. Don't judge a book by its cover but this buddy pal of mine is an amazing hamster in running loops and is now into ultras. Her thoughts on running during Ramadhan:

When I first started venturing out for an outdoor run, it was just a couple of months before the month of Ramadhan. Still excited about running, it seemed to be a waste for me not to run while fasting so I made the effort to continue even at that early stage of running. 

That was back in 2011. 

It used to be a 20-30minutes run on weekday nights at around 10.00pm in the safety of the gated area of my apartment. On weekends, I’d run for about an hour before sahur (early morning meal) on Saturday. I used to just go up and down a stretch of incline in Bandar Tun Hussein Onn for an hour while hubby would wait for me at the nearby McDonald’s where we’d eat our sahur after I finished my run. On Sunday, I’d run after I finished cooking for our breaking fast. I’d usually start cooking at 4pm, finish by 5pm and go out for a short run after that. A short blog post of mine about it at: http://linasbackyard.blogspot.com/2011/08/i-didnt-slow-down-this-month.html

Is it really difficult to run while fasting? For me, not really. It’s just a matter of adjusting accordingly. At that point, I just want to run so I don’t care about pace or speed or distance. Just as long as I run. I even entered a relay race during the fasting month in 2012.
It’s the Pacemakers Anniversary Relay at Lake Garden. My recap of it at : http://linasbackyard.blogspot.com/2012/07/9th-day-of-puasa-and-running-in-par8.html It was super fun! And no, I didn’t keel over dehydrated or anything after the race! Didn’t spend the rest of the day sprawled on the bed/sofa/bathroom floor either. But of course la, short run only. Hihihi

In 2013, I ran a few times with running groups after the terawih prayers during the weekend in Putrajaya. A post about it: http://linasbackyard.blogspot.com/2013/07/twelfth-day-of-ramadan-change-of-pace.html
A group photo with those who joined the Gaited Community LSD session. I did another night run with the Sabun group too. However, I didn’t manage to run as much as I wanted to during Ramadhan last year due to an injury.

This year is my 4th year running during the fasting month. I realised that I prefer running before breaking of fast rather than in the morning or at night and that’s what I have been doing for these past two weeks. Being able to leave the office 45minutes earlier helps tremendously for me to slot in a couple of after work runs during the weekdays.

The progress so far is documented in this blog post: http://linasbackyard.blogspot.com/2014/07/twelfth-day-of-ramadhan-so-far-so-good.html. Both the Gaited Community and Sabun group have weekend LSD sessions and Gaited Community group has it every Friday night. I’ve yet been able to join them this year but I’m hoping to run with them at least once before Hari Raya!

For me, there isn’t much difference between running on other months and while fasting. OK, one cannot hydrate oneself freely and that’s why I prefer to do a pre-break fast run where I can run and finish before it’s time to break fast so less waiting time to drink! I do my tempo and interval runs on weekdays, before breaking of fast and long runs during the weekends, at night. 

I didn’t take anything special during sahur or for breaking fast. I just make sure I drink plenty of water. I eat dates, but then again, I eat dates on non-fasting day too. It’s quite good energy source. Filling too. I had dates stocked up for me to take even when I did Back 2 Endurance in June.

Time is a factor for some of us to train during the Ramadhan month. One need to wake up early for sahur. Nights are filled with terawih prayers. A little bit of adjustment and finding what’s best for us to fit a few runs is a good idea. Adapt gradually would be my advise. But don’t skip training totally especially if one has races line up almost immediately after Hari Raya.

But most of all, have fun training. Fasting or no fasting.

Ramadan Mubarak!

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