During Ramadhan last year, I didn’t do any fitness training at all. My fitness activities last year was not as much as this year. I only did one triathlon last year compared to three triathlons plus 1 marathon this year. So, I can say that my fitness level back then was at very minimal, very low. This year, slightly better.
As for preparations for this year’s races, I kept my momentum going since the beginning of the year. It is true when people said that it may take quite a long time for one to notice an increase in performance, especially when one is building the endurance.
Remember when I blog about fighting the ‘M’ bug? Yes, I was that skeptical and kind of worried if my fitness drop in the case of not continuing my training. Not having any big races to do, normally the motivation to train will slowly reduce.
My experience of building the basic foundation of fitness level since beginning of the year was not easy, and it was tough. I had to put up hours upon hours of training, continuously. Well, that was to build the basic foundation alone, not yet including any speed work, and it was already tough.
So, I don’t want to start from scratch again. And for not having to do that, the only way is to maintain the fitness level I currently have.
Maintenance is the key word here.
I’m a heavy sweater, and I sweat easily upon any slight increase in my body temperature, or ambient temperature. That means, I need to keep my self hydrated, especially before, during and after training.
But now, it’s the holy Ramadhan month. So how can I continue my training properly?
Before starting any kind of training session (swim, bike or run), I normally drink half a bottle of plain water (approximately 200 ~ 250ml) to hydrate myself. And depending on the level of intensity and duration of my training, I might need to drink while training too. And rehydration after training is a definite must. I sweat a lot and I need plenty of water or else I’ll face the risk of getting ‘switched off’ (go kaput laa).
With that, I don’t dare to train during fasting (i.e. daytime). The only choice left is to train during night time. Here are some summary of what happened during this week.
Oh gosh, I suddenly forgot what I did on Monday. Oh yeah, now I remember. I went to the gym after tarawikh. Fortunately the gym extends its operation hour up till 12 midnite during Ramadhan (normally it closes at 11pm). So, I spent 1hr ++ there doing some mix upper and lower body workouts. I also tried running with speed of 13km/hr on the treadmill, and I could only last for 5 minutes. So pathetic. Next time, I’ll try beating this one.
Here in JB I live nearby UTM Skudai. I can’t think of any other ‘safe’ place (i.e. well lit, less traffic, no dogs, no thieves) to run at night other than to run inside UTM campus. So, I decided to run there. Again, after tarawikh.
With still a full tummy from the break fast, running that night was not as comfortable as normal. At 4km, I felt some abs cramp and I settled for some fast walking for about 50m to recover the cramp. I then continued running in the humid environment where I sweated a lot, and by 6.5km-ish, after completing 3 loops around the campus, I called it a night.
It was the night of the least cyclists showing up. Only three of us. When I arrived, there was one guy who wanted to do some running before cycling, so I joined him to do the 2km-ish warm up run.
With no speed demons cycling that night, I took leisure during cycling. I did not push at all. However, I only settled with an embarrassing 18km ride distance. Embarrassing because I know I had the energy to do 30km, but I cut it short just because I was attacked with the M4L4S bug. Plus, with so little cycling buddies around, it won’t be much of fun.
The plan to do another run after the cycling was quickly trashed into the ditch without any second consideration.
I made another visit to the gym last night. This time I spent 1.5hrs, doing higher intensity upper and lower body workouts. I’m having muscle soreness now, especially the arms and chest. OK, good sign I guess.
So far, things were going pretty well. At least, I can still do some maintenance and strength training during fasting month, though I think I have to temporarily forget about doing any speed work due to timing unsuitability.
If I want to run fast, I need lots and lots of water. Hence, no running during day time.
If I run with full stomach (i.e. to run after tarawikh), it won’t be comfortable. And if I want to speed up, there will be high possibility that I’ll vomit during the run. Ugly, ugly.
If I take light iftar, I might be able to increase my run intensity. But I also don’t want to stuff my stomach so near to my bed time (i.e. to eat after the run) as it won’t be healthy either.
It’s OK. I’m taking it easy for now. At the end, I’m only maintaining my fitness.