Ramadan Training Tips by Sarah Faraidooni

My name is Sarah, I am an avid runner and full time Sales and Business Development professional. I ran my first 5k in Nov 2013 and told myself I was never going to do that again. Ever since I ran countless 10ks, 5ks and half marathons winning the UAE National category at the Standard Chartered 10k and RAK Half almost every year since 2014.

My biggest achievement is running my 10k PR 42.45 at Standard Chartered 2018 and half marathon PR 1:39:40 at RAK HALF 2020. There have been highs and lows along the way, my proudest moments are coming back after a break and running times close to my PRs.

Fitness is important to me. I’m grateful for being able to enjoy running as it motivates me to push harder and I love a good challenge.

What’s your training regime during Ramadan?

I usually run an hour or so before breaking fast (this year 6.40-7pm). I avoid workouts and running after food, it’s late and disrupts my sleep, I also make sure I get in the right nutrients to help me recover.

How do you adjust your training to the fasting/eating and sleep pattern?

I wake up at 4am for a light meal and drink a stealth night time protein shake. It keeps me going for the day. I try and get 7.5 – 8 hours of sleep a night so I’ll have a meal as we break fast, a snack before bed and a light meal and shake in the morning. I reduce the intensity of my runs to prevent injury or feeling drained.

I follow the same training program but just reduce the pace for the interval/tempo and long run. Pace adjustments depend on how long the workout is, so if I’m doing a short interval, I’d adjust it by 5s – 10s per min/km. If it’s a longer run – more than 70mins, I’d start by running 30-40s per min/km slower and then see how I feel. It also depends on how I’m feeling and what I’ve eaten in the morning.

It takes a week or so for my body to adjust, once it does I am able to run the same paces as on non fasting days. It’s amazing how the body adapts.

Which tips would you give to athletes trying to keep the same training regime through Ramadan?

Focus on mindset, it’s not easy. Fasting gives us the opportunity to push ourselves but if you’re not used to it, the risks of injury are too great. Make the training more realistic and try your best to make it work, that’s the whole point of Ramadan.

Thank you Sarah for sharing this with us, Ramadan Kareem!

Posted on 5th Apr 2021