Ramadan Kareem! Triathlon Training and Fasting Ramadan

Workout During Ramadan

Every year, Muslims around the world observe the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month long fast from dawn to sunset. Because the cycle of the lunar calendar does not match the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan shifts by approximately 11 days each year.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset with no food or water and yes that includes coffee… really who cares about food and water! At sunset families and friends gather for Iftar which is the meal eaten to break the fast.

Triathlon training and working out while fasting during Ramadan is hard but not impossible. With the long days and summer heat, it is probably best to avoid any workout during the day. You want to be able to replenish immediatly after working out with food and water.

In the past years, I structured my workouts to be either right before sunset so I can eat immediatley as soon as I am done. Or break my fast with a light meal and get a workout in then enjoy the rest of the evening with family and friends.

The other way I have trained if I wanted to maximize time and do some hard intervals is start the warm up process before breaking fast, then break my fast with a date, waffles, PB and honey, or whatever you like but keep it very light. Then start with the hard intervals such as track workouts, tempo runs, swims or bike intervals. That way you can also eat and drinkg while you are exercising.

This year my coach put together a more structured plan with short but higher intensity (hello VO2!!!) and more FTP work. As for running, I will be taking advantage of this month and the low volume work to recover from a persistent ITBS. Hoping to get in some short runs every other day and hope it heals in the next couple weeks.




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    Ramadan Kareem! Triathlon Training and Fasting Ramadan

    Every year, Muslims around the world observe the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month long fast from dawn to sunset. Because ...
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  1. Mouiz'

    April 20, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Very interesting article. I’m going to start training for triathlons and mixing Ramadan and training seems quite tricky. Your article relieves me as I see that you can handle it.

    I was wondering if you ever thought about training just after sunrise as you can eat just before ?

    Have you ever participated to a long distance triathlon (ironman-like) in the middle of Ramadan or just after it ? How did you manage that ? I heard that the period just before a triathlon (especially) long distance triathlons should be used for a specific training (and usually quite intense), I was wondering how you’ve managed all this ?


    • Tariq Ali

      April 20, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      I have done half iron distance about 3 weeks after Ramadan and did very well. A full will be tricky though with the volume needed to be in top shape I don’t think I can do while fasting. the problem with training just after sunrise is you need to replenish right after you are done or you will be hurting and probably will have negative effect as your body will try to recover from working out. I find it best to just workout right before sunset and immediately eat to help the body recover. It is very hard with the long summer days. It doesn’t leave you with much time to train and get some sleep. Once Ramadan move to the winter, that would leave us with a lot more time to train. Good luck!


      • Mouiz'

        April 21, 2015 at 11:16 am

        Thanks for your answer. One more question:

        Did you do half iron distance 3 weeks after the beginning or the end of ramadan ?


        • Tariq Ali

          April 21, 2015 at 1:15 pm

          I did it after the end of Ramadan. No racing during Ramadan.


  2. Majeed

    June 6, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Hello Tariq,

    Really surprised that I have found an article about Triathlon and Ramadan, I have signed up for full distance ironman in about 15 days after end of Ramadan. I’m also planning on fasting the whole month with training, I will write an article related after the finish on my blog wish me luck 🙂



    • Tariq Ali

      June 6, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Good luck with your Ironman Majeed. I will be interested to hear how it go. You are in the peak of your training right now. Good luck and let me know.


      • Lyace Metallaoui

        June 12, 2016 at 9:23 am

        Thanks for your article. This year ramadan is ending on the 5th of july and I take part in a full Ironman on august 28th. Do you think it Will BE a problem? I have already 4500km over the last 8 months So the volume of training is good


        • Tariq Ali

          June 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm

          All depends on your fitness level, and your goal for the Ironman. You have over a month and half after Ramadan to do more of the long rides and long runs. So just try to maintain your fitness level during Ramadan as much as you can and then get back the high volume as soon as Ramadan is over.


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