Running tips in Ramadan ahead of the Great Birmingham Run 10K and half marathon

Prolific runner and fundraiser Emon Choudhury offers advice on running tips during Ramadan as the Great Birmingham Run 10K and half marathon draw close

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Training for a 10K or half marathon is gruelling business, but it’s even more so if you’re preparing to observe Ramadan. For Muslim runners, fasting between the hours of sunrise and sunset makes their training regimes even harder.

With Ramadan underway and the countdown to the festival of Eid al-Fitr those taking part in The AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run on Sunday 7 May, will have to work out a schedule that allows them to fast for 12-14 hours each day during Holy Month while still getting their practice in.

Prolific runner and fundraiser Emon Choudhury was crowned winner of BBC Two’s Race Across the World. Along with his nephew Jamiul, the pair gripped the nation at the start of the first lockdown as they travelled 15,000 miles from Mexico City to Ushuaia in Argentina without flights, phones, the internet or bank cards.

They went on to defeat four other pairs, winning by just 20 seconds, and donated half of their prize money to a charity supporting homeless children in Brazil.

Since then, Emon has taken part in the AJ Bell Great Manchester Run and AJ Bell Great North Run, been recognised by Pride of Britain and last year took on the incredible challenge of running a marathon during the month of Ramadan.

Sharing his advice, he explains: “This year I’m taking part in another marathon and a lot of training during the month of Ramadan. It’s important to time your run and your strength exercises so you finish just in time to break your fast. So do your training one or two hours before.

“Know your limits and listen to your body. If you need tap out at a certain mileage, 5k or 10k, tap out. This most important thing is keeping your fast because that’s what Ramadan is about.

“My third point would be your nutrition; try to eat a lot of porridge, dates, and bananas during Sahoor time (the light meal taken shortly before the break of dawn) that will give you a lot of energy throughout the day. And be careful, don’t go over the top.”

Emon ChoudhuryEmon Choudhury
Emon Choudhury

This year’s The AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run takes place during May Bank Holiday weekend and marks a celebration of the city, from its cultural diversity to its landmark route.

Runners will line up on Broad Street before making their way through St Paul’s Square and heading south towards Digbeth. Those taking part in the 13.1-mile circuit will pass through Cannon Hill Park before both distances finish at the Smithfield site near Bullring, home to The Commonwealth Games beach volleyball and basketball.

Entries are open to those wishing to join thousands of runners and walkers and everyone who completes their race receives an AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run medal, an exclusive (optional) finisher’s T-shirt and a goodie bag.

Free-to-download training plans aimed at all abilities for both 10k and half marathons are available online and there’s also a Business Challenge for work colleagues or like-minded mates. Sign up for The AJ Bell Great Birmingham Run by visiting