Strength


Ramadan has just ended on June 15 - I hope everyone who celebrates also had an amazing Eid full of celebrations with their families - and y'know what that means? It's back into my running training schedule time! I've drafted my entire schedule for the next 8 weeks and I'm just so excited to get back out there and start running again.

For the month of Ramadan, I didn't run at all because well, ya girl was fasting (no food no water) and putting running into that equation was not going to happen. I used to run a bit before breaking my fast (first meal of the day when the sun is set) but decided not to do that this year.

Did I maintain my fitness? Did I throw my nutritional habits in a closet and lock it for the duration of Ramadan?

Well, let's start question by question.

Did I maintain my fitness?
YES! For the first week of Ramadan I took off of exercising to get me into the zone for Ramadan. For the following three weeks, every day after nightly prayers* at the mosque at around 1AM I'd be doing ab and full body workouts from Lucy Wyndham-Read.

I did a mixture of:
1. AT HOME WORKOUT 10 MINUTE ABS - with standing ab exercises and tips on how to properly lose belly fat.
2.  7 DAY CHALLENGE - 7 MINUTE WORKOUT TO LOSE BELLY FAT - HOME WORKOUT TO LOSE INCHES - START TODAY
3. LOSE BELLY FAT - HOME HIIT WORKOUT - SUITABLE AS BEGINNERS WORKOUT -  NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED

And as a result, I actually felt I had more energy throughout the day as I was fasting.
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* = Are you confused on what Ramadan is & what I mean by Nightly Prayers?
I wrote a blog post on Ramadan - you can read it here: Crash Course: Ramadan

A great video I came across by Jenna Chia on the science of Ramadan, if you're interested:
Why Fast For Ramadan? My First Experience
In it she answers the questions:
What happens to your body when you fast?
Why do Muslims Fast?
How it's been for her to fast for the first time?
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Did I throw my nutritional habits in a closet and lock it for the duration of Ramadan?
HAHA no! When it came time to eat, I only snacked on fruits and some almonds & cashews. I sometimes feel I can be a bit strict on myself, though. The days leading up to Eid is usually filled with baking cookies - y'know how in Christmas there's sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies etc.? Yeah, so we have stuff like that too - cookies only made during Eid!

A little bit here and there won't be the worst thing on the planet, but inner me needs a lot of convincing to eat a single cookie. Inner me needs to sit down and eat an ice-cream and chill with a few date cookies.

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I wrote an article for AMALIAH Magazine on being kind to yourself & tips on healthy eating:
Weight Loss & Healthy Eating Starts With Viewing Yourself Differently
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I went on my first run this week - a short mile to get my body used to the movement of running again. Something that I worried about before Ramadan was my pacing. Before Ramadan started, I was running three miles at a quick & steady pace and I was afraid I'd have to start over & all that endurance building was going to get chucked under a rug.

I even mentioned to my family and friends that Ramadan came at the worst time for me because I was progressing, getting faster, and becoming stronger. My mind viewed Ramadan as something stopped my progress, a block that stopped me from running for a month. As I went for my first run since the end of Ramadan, I realized how wrong and closed minded my thinking was. I thought of Ramadan in such a negative way because I was worried about my pacing per mile.

On this run, I ran this mile faster that I ever did the month previously, got a new 1K PR at 5:03, and actually felt pretty strong as I ran. There were a few thoughts running through my mind. God gave me the strength to go faster, my will to run comes from Him, my dedication to my training schedule comes from Him yet here I was, throughout the month of Ramadan doubting Him. 

Where do I get my speed from? Where do I get my dreams that sometimes feel like boots that are 3 sizes too big from me? Where do I get my strength day in and day out? Him. 

This run was an eye opener to how closed I viewed myself and my running. With faith in God, anything is possible and when that faith falters everything kind of crumbles as a result. I have plans, but also I know that God is the best of planners and he will lead me to the path I am meant to go down.


My running and self belief derives from my faith and that is something that this Ramadan has taught me - trust Him and all will fall into the place it is meant to.

I want to clarify: I say this as a religious person, if you are not religious I hope you haven't taken any offense to this post.

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Do you exercise? Do you run? HOW'S IT GOING FIT FAM LET YA GIRL KNOW


15 comments:

  1. An interesting read and what an achievement to still be maintaining home workouts during Ramadan.

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    1. Thank you so much!! It was a bit of a challenge at times always being motivated to exercise, but once I finished each workout it definitely felt worth it taking the time to exercise even if it was in the early hours of the morning!

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  2. I hope you had a wonderful Eid! I don't run myself, but I need to start and start exercising too, even if it is just work outs around the house. Congrats on beating your previous personal best!

    Beka | www.bekadaisies.com

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    1. Thank you!! It was really nice & thankfully the weather wasn't too hot on Eid! I'd definitely recommend doing a few of Lucy Wyndham-Read workouts, they're beginner - intermediate friendly and she directs you through each move. And thank you! I was so surprised when my Nike App told me I had a new 1K PR!

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  3. Wow, that's amazing that you were able to keep your fitness up during Ramadan, even if you weren't running! And I hope you had a wonderful Eid and best of luck getting back into your running / exercise routine! I despise running, I really do. But I do a heck of a lot of Yoga :) Yoga is my safe space!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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    1. I was really surprised that I didn't lose my running strength after not running & just doing ab workout routines for the month of Ramadan! And thank you!! It was thankfully really nice weather & not too hot on Eid! Hahaha running is either you love it or you hate it type of thing - but maybe if you had a friend to run with you it'd make it more fun!

      I've been thinking of taking up yoga, it seems really relaxing and from what I've seen it keeps the body flexible through different movements!

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  4. This was absolutely amazing to read! For me, if I even take a week off my performance suffers when I make my comeback so this is such a huge achievement. I've heard lots of amazing things about Lucy's videos, I've been meaning to give them a go for a while now x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. Thank you!! I was really surprised that even when I hadn't been running, and just continued through ab workout routines for the month of Ramadan that I still had pretty much the same fitness level - fair to say ab workouts really do help in terms of strength & maintaining fitness if you aren't able to go running!

      I love doing Lucy's workout videos, they're really great for any level & you definitely feel the sweat afterwards!

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  5. Wow, this is such an interesting post - it totally didn't occur to me that the fasting would impact things like exercise, but of course it would!
    Thanks for the insight, and Eid Mubarak to you! 😘
    Rhianna x
    www.tsundokugirl.com

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    1. Thank you so much for reading & thank you! Thankfully it was actually really nice weather on Eid - not too hot or humid! :)

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  6. Ah, major props for managing to keep up your fitness! I think with running, once you've already started building that base, it comes back a little easier each time you take a bit of a break. I think my legs struggle the most after time off rather than my physical breathing!

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    1. Thank you! I'm starting to see that - since I've built the base already, it's not too hard to tap back into it after a bit of a break. Yes!! My legs are still getting used to running now, my calf muscles do feel a bit sore after having my first full week of running! Breathing wise, thankfully not out of breath as I run!

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  7. Girl, you have all my respect! I couldn't even stand properly during Ramadan, haha (but 19 hours didn't seem that long now that I think about it - why do we always think negatively?). It's great to read your achievements and I'm really proud for you! Eid Mubarak, by the way. Hope you had a wonderful celebration with your family! :) xx Ain (www.captaineverland.co.uk)

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    1. HAHA my family were always straight to sleep after taraweh prayer, and then there was me at 1AM doing an ab workout & then munching on fruits at about 1:30 like I wasn't about to wake up a few hours later to have actual suhoor hahaha.

      In our minds, I feel that the day always seems longer than it actually is - alhadmulilah while fasting for the month, although at some points it felt a bit long in the beginning, we end up in a bit of a system where we don't feel the hours or feel as hungry as we thought we would.

      And thank you so so much!! EId Mubarak to you as well, I hope you also had a lovely Eid with your family :)

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