HEALTH & FITNESS: Training Even When Fasting

With just DAYS away from the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan, I still remember around this time last year, both Haffiz and I were interviewed about our training runs and preparations for the upcoming, then Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011. I was prepping up to run a half-marathon (21km) and Haffiz is running the full 42km. Was I excited? Hell yeah, I  was stoked.

One of the challenges that we and many other active Muslim people face during this period, is the fasting month of Ramadhan. Despite the required change of training programme, I would not say it is a burden. Mainly because one can always train at a later part of the day nearing to break fast timing (adaptive) OR simply that fasting keeps my body lean too.

We both have different styles of training. His mainly focused on more runs while mine was more a balanced between short runs and high-intensity workouts with weights. I opted for endurance, speed and muscle. Anyways, here are some of the “tips” of my half-marathon  training regime during fasting month. 🙂

1. When did you start preparing for the year-end Standard Chartered marathon? What is your routine training programme?

Mentally, i started prepping myself last year during the SCSM 2010 when i was covering the event from a spectator’s point of view.

Physically, i started going for short distance runs (eg. 2XU 12km race and my own 4km short runs in my neighbourhood) as well as to build a better physique by training with the SG Titans (a non-profit Strongman team, http://www.sgtitans.com/) once or twice a week back then, coupled with my own workouts.

2. For the month of Ramadan, how have you tailored your training?

The month of Ramadhan coincides with the start of my new school’s semester so schedule wise, its very hectic. Thus my runs are minimized to running in the school gym (where i work PT) on its treadmills. I tailor my training very differently now. I am more focused on developing a stronger core and focus on high intensity training / endurance workouts to boost BOTH muscular development as well as improve my cardiovascular system. Training period on the other hand is limited to 1 hour before break fast or at night, 2 hours after my break fast.

3. How much does the new programme (in the month of Ramadhan) affect your preparation?

With lesser time to train, I have to make the best out of each individual session/training. Personally in my opinion, as long as you maintain that level of activity / training for your body, it would not affect much of one’s performance for your runs. I had always been a believer of stronger core leads to better, faster runs. And of course coupled with cardio workouts, it will keep you in shape for the runs/races to come.

4. Why is it important that you continue to train during Ramadan? 

To feel good, be healthy, maintain a decent fitness level at least and most importantly, look good for hari raya! 😛

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Buy a baju kurung that you like BUT you cannot fit well in it yet. And that will motivate you to run! 😛

For more info on this year’s Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2012 run, check out: http://www.marathonsingapore.com/

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