Ramadan Training Tips by Abu Omar
Omar is a Palestinian runner based in Dubai, he ran 15 full marathons, including four of the World Majors (In Tokyo, Berlin, London and Chicago). In addition to this Omar is a UESCA certified running coach.
What’s your training regime during Ramadan?
Light cardio before Iftar (walking, light jogging or spinning in the gym) on easy days. On days when I need to do speed training, I’d do it at least 3 to 4 hours after Iftar (pre Covid). For the long runs, I’d limit them to 14-16kish over the weekend, 3-4 hours after Iftar if time permits. Sometimes pre-Covid I’d run even later than that at night. I try to do some strength training as well once or twice a week.
How do you adjust your training to the fasting/eating and sleep pattern?
It’s always a struggle for me to be honest, especially with praying and getting little sleep. I usually gain weight in Ramadan, but I try my best to do ‘damage limitation’.
Which tips would you give to athletes trying to keep the same training regime through Ramadan?
From experience with friends and fellow fasting athletes, each person is different, so it is a matter of finding what works best for you. I would never be able to work out in the morning let’s say while fasting, but I know people who can even do hard runs in the morning and still fast (and they seem to be okay with it). I would not be able to cope with the dehydration.
Be realistic about your targets, and remember that maintaining a high level of performance is not easy in Ramadan for everyone. Take it easy on yourself if you feel that you do not have the same energy levels, or lack the time to maintain your fitness routine. Take advantage of this time to try and recharge your batteries for the summer and the upcoming season.
Thank you Omar and Ramadan Kareem!