The safest time to exercise while you are fasting during Ramadan depends on your personal preference as there are different pros and cons to training at different times of the day depending on your schedule and how your body reacts.
As head of the female athlete program and strength & conditioning for Coach Parry, I have worked with several athletes who have continued to make improvements while training safely during Ramadan…
This is what their training schedule looked like…
When You Should Train During Ramadan
The best time to train during Ramadan really depends on your personal preference and what feels best for your body.
The different time options for training during Ramadan are:
- In the early evening before sunset.
This option entails training on an empty stomach and with no water but it does allow you to eat and drink directly after your session.
- After your evening meal.
For those who can stay up this late and can sleep 1 to 2 hours after training, this is an ideal option as you can eat and hydrate before and after your training session.
- In the morning right after sunrise.
This option allows you to eat before you train which means more energy for your training session, but you do run the risk of dehydration if you do not consume enough water beforehand as you will not be allowed water during or after your training.
- Early in the morning right before sunrise.
This option allows you to consume food and water before and after your morning training session if you manage to complete it before the sun rises.
What we recommend:
- If possible train in the evening after a very small meal, then eat again after training
- If you have to train in the morning then do it very early so you can hydrate well and eat before Sunrise
- No high-intensity training at all, run everything easy, so replace all your high/medium intensity runs with the equivalent time easy run.
- Cap your long runs at 1hr.30mins – 2 hours max and consider splitting into 2 shorter runs if your schedule allows.
Let’s try to narrow down the absolute best time of day to train during Ramadan… (Note: this may vary depending on how your body is feeling)
The BEST Time Of The Day To Train During Ramadan
Based on my experience I encourage my athletes to complete their training BEFORE their final meal and water early in the morning before sunrise or …
To do their training AFTER the initial light meal and water consumed to break the fast at sunset and Before the bigger meal later on.
Why You Should Workout During Ramadan
Training during Ramadan should be done cautiously and the most important factor is to always listen to how your body is feeling.
If you haven’t been training in the build-up to Ramadan then we recommend opting for very light-intensity exercises such as going for walks and some beginner strength classes.
Here at Coach Parry, we’re massive advocates of strength training. We’ve put together this free strength training plan for runners that you can do once a week, at home and with no expensive equipment needed. You can access it by clicking here.
If you have been training before Ramadan then your goal for the 30 days should be to maintain the level of fitness that you have, rather than trying to increase fitness levels. That means reducing your current training intensity and volume on your current training program while placing high importance on what you consume when breaking the fast.
It’s highly recommended to continue training and to keep active during Ramadan. Loads of people say that continuing to train helps them feel more energized during fasting hours. But nutrition and recovery are key at this time.
Benefits of training during Ramadan:
- Improved immunity
- Maintained physical strength
- Prevention of physical decline due to improved mobility
- Reduced fatigue allows you to better function at work.
- The improved cognitive function allows you to focus better even in a fasted state
- Helps manage stress and anxiety
- Improved mood due to the release of endorphins/ runners high.
Now that you know why you should be training during Ramadan and when you should be doing it… Let’s see how to train safely…
How To Train Safely During Ramadan
Do not increase exercise frequency, intensity, and duration when you are fasting during Ramadan.
Try starting with lower-intensity sessions and shorter sessions and gradually building up as the body adapts to the inevitable changes from fasting.
The most important thing to remember is that not everyone will react the same to their fasting and that’s why you need to start at a low intensity and see how your body reacts.
Remember that this is not a time to set new records and run races… See why here.
There is no doubt that the mind is a powerful thing and by following several nutritional, hydration, and training guidelines, by listening to your body and mind at all times you’re ensured a successful training month through Ramadan.