Ramadan is the most sacred and holy month for Muslims, with many observing this religious occasion by fasting, prayer and celebration. Carrying on with your physical activities during a fast is possible, but it can be challenging at times.
After winning his Pride of Britain award and completing the Manchester Marathon during Ramadan last year, Emon Choudhury shares his top five tips for anyone planning to parkrun whilst fasting.
The Manchester Marathon was an immense challenge for me both physically and mentally and it required a lot of specific training. However, being able to combine two passions of my life (running and my religion) was amazing.
From my parkrun experience, I have found many people are intrigued about fasting and my religion, which I love to talk about. I’ve even had fellow parkrunners who are non-Muslims try a fasting parkrun!
This is what parkrun is all about for me – everyone sharing your own experience no matter what their background is. So, here are my top five tips for any parkrunners that are fasting this Ramadan:
1. Reduce your pace
The beauty of parkrun is that you don’t need to run it. You can walk, jog, run or volunteer if you like, but you need to be mindful when fasting. If you reduce your speed and conserve energy, you’ll notice you don’t actually need any water or food. I’ve often done a parkwalk and found the party at the tail-end revitalising!
2. Eat well during suhoor (the early morning meal before the start of fasting)
Before the start of the fast, try taking on extra water and food if you’re planning on doing a parkrun. Usually, suhoor time is around 5am so you won’t have to wait too long for your morning parkrun. That extra water and protein will help you on your 5k.
3. Don’t focus on your time
During Ramadan, try not to worry about your time or trying to get a PB. It’s more important to embrace what Ramadan means to you. Staying active will not only help you physically, but the benefits of exercising will give you that extra boost for your day.
4. Talk about it with your family & friends
Ramadan is a great time to encourage your friends to join you on your daily fasts and explain the reason why we fast. Doing a parkrun during this month makes it extra special and challenging, you will find many of your fellow parkrunners are intrigued about fasting.
5. Stay safe – don’t push yourself too hard
Doing a parkrun when fasting is a challenge itself. If you feel too dehydrated or dizzy, there’s no harm in just sitting down for a few minutes. It may not be for everyone, so maybe try doing half of the parkrun to see how you feel – everyone is different!
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