Can I run while fasting?

Advice for runners during the month of Ramadan


by Trail Running |

Ramadan (which starts in April) and other religious festivals require periods of going without food, and runners may face a dilemma over what to do with their running at this time.

Muslim runner and Run Leader Tazneem Anwar says you can continue to run but caution needs to be taken. “If you’ve never run before, Ramadan is probably not the best time to start,” she says. “However, if you’re already a runner, there’s no reason why you can’t continue.”

At the very least, you should avoid higher-intensity sessions which could cause you to become dehydrated or fatigued while low on carbs. Trying to stay with an easy 30-60 minutes.

Tazneem adds: “You could run either before sunset while still fasting, or after sunset once you’ve eaten. Running before sunset means you can time it so that, once you’ve finished your run, you can eat and drink a short while afterwards. Running after sunset once you’ve broken your fast, means you are nourished, but it can mean running quite late in the evening.

“You should also consider how warm it is outside. You could find yourself becoming dehydrated and without water. If you have access to a treadmill this could be an option for really warm days.

“Remember that there is only a small window to provide your body with all the key nutrients that it needs. Your meal at Suhoor (the meal at dawn) on the day of the run is important. Try to include foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates, high in protein, fruits or vegetables and plenty of water. And avoid processed and fried foods as much as possible.

“But most importantly, listen to your body. If you’re feeling exhausted, then opt for a short walk or another activity instead.”

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