In 2018, Ramadhan started on 17th May and ran till 15th June. I was always planned to run during this period, and try to take it easy, which meant that my fitness was good, and kept it consistent. With the fact I had 3 weekends after Ramadhan with significant running such as Small Park Big Run, Round Sheffield Run and the re-arranged Dronfield 10K; I had no choice but to continue running in Ramadhan.
Before Ramadhan started, I found a few posts around the web and Facebook on some simple tips on training in Ramadhan, my favourite one was the one from Sahir Osman, as shown in the image below. This really helped me over the month and took on some of the advice, such as plenty of water intake, dates and smoothies to name some.
I had also registered for a race on 20th May 2018, thinking, I’ll take it easy as it was a worthy cause even if I didn’t race it. My first ever run ever run in Ramadhan was the Friday before, just to see how I would do. It was a 6-mile run, and fortunately, I felt fantastic afterwards and I had no ill effects throughout the day. This showed me that I was more than capable of running through the month.
Coming to the race, it went better than planned. I was only about 40 seconds off my 10K PB time, and I came away unscathed, even though it was really hot. You can read all about that, and my experiences of the day here.
Over the coming few weeks, my plan was to take my pace down a notch and keep training at a slower pace. This really worked for me, and none of my runs caused me any significant problems. I was even able to train an extra day (Friday) when I normally don’t. This really helped me to understand the capabilities of my body, and the fact I am now capable of running 2 days consecutively. I was never able to do that in the past and had really struggled. I think this just goes to show, that if you take it easy, you can achieve some of the mileage.
Adding this extra day, and continuing my efforts with the Striders Wednesday sessions and the Daft’o’Clock Club, and I was on course of beating my mileage for the month. Now, I mean here is the month of Ramadhan. Previously my record for a month is 110.5 miles. The month of Ramadhan has been very kind to me, and with a few days to go, I have accumulated 116.8 miles, which shows that I have already increased the mileage. With only one Wednesday training run to go (~8miles), I could easily eclipse 120 miles.
Going back, I have to say the most enjoyable, longest and the hardest run during the month was the RSR recce which I did on 11th June with the Striders. It was hard, because of the hills, I have tried very had to avoid hills during Ramadhan, as that has always taken a lot out of me, and always requires a lot more energy through runs. It was enjoyable, due to all the people involved, and the mixture of people we had. My fastest long run was a 9 mile run around town and back; this was to test myself to see if I can potentially do race pace in Ramadhan with potentially looking at a Half Marathon next year. This showed that I could maintain it throughout the run, and it can be achievable. Let’s see if I can have the guts to do that next year, so watch this space
One thing that may have helped me, was that the 2 months prior to Ramadhan, I had stopped hydrating myself straight after my runs. I didn’t do this knowingly, and it just kind of happened. I don’t think I took Ramadhan into question at the time, but it could have helped me coincidently.
My conclusion is that, if you put your mind to it, then you can easily train in Ramadhan. Try to notch it down a bit with the pace, keep to a healthy diet, and follow some key tips above, and you should be OK