Fit And Fab

Running keeps him on fast track to fitness

To trim down and shape up, Mr Cao returned to running, doing weekly jaunts at MacRitchie Reservoir. Now, he has set his sights on the 50km trail run in the MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50 ultramarathon.
To trim down and shape up, Mr Cao returned to running, doing weekly jaunts at MacRitchie Reservoir. Now, he has set his sights on the 50km trail run in the MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50 ultramarathon. PHOTO: MATTHIAS HO FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Becoming a dad turned into an excuse for not exercising. Manager Cao Yue Ming tells Ng Wan Ching how he got back in shape.

What is your secret to looking so fabulous?

A I keep myself active, positive and happy. I believe in being confident about what you do and surrounding yourself with the right people.

Q Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?

A Four years ago, when I became a father. Last year, I was at my heaviest, at 80kg.

Being a father of two young boys kept me busy, and it was an easy excuse not to find time to exercise.

  • Bio Box

  • MR CAO YUE MING

    Age: 34

    Height: 1.74m

    Weight: 72kg

    A manager at MSIG Insurance Singapore, he is a father of two boys aged two and four.

    His wife, a senior accountant for an aviation firm, will also take part in the MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50 event. She will run 21km; he will cover 50km.

    The flat, urban trail race through Singapore will take place on July 25.

    Registration for the race

    is on a first-come, first-served basis. It will close on July 20, or when all slots have been taken.

    To register, go to: www.actionasiaevents.com

I wasn't as active as before and got lethargic easily.

However, I had been sporty for most of my life - I was part of the Safra dragon boat team for four years and took part in triathlons - so I decided to work my way back to fitness.

I signed up for 15km to 20km races and, more recently, the MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50 ultramarathon, to do the 50km trail run.

I also do weekly runs at MacRitchie Reservoir.

Q What is your diet like?

A Breakfast is wholemeal bread, a kopi-C kosong (coffee with evaporated milk and no sugar) and fruit. I have a light lunch - salad with tofu, salmon or chicken breast.

There are strictly no carbohydrates at dinner - just plenty of green vegetables, plus steamed fish or chicken breast for protein. Also, I do not eat after 10pm.

Q What are your indulgences?

I can't live without coffee. But I have cut down my daily intake, from five cups to three at the most, all without sugar.

Q What do you do to relax?

I enjoy trail running as it clears my mind, and being surrounded by nature relaxes me.

I also enjoy playing with my sons, which lets me relive my childhood. Having kids can be a workout!

Q What are the three most important things in your life?

My family, good health, as well as my friends.

Q Would you go for plastic surgery and why?

A   No, I am happy with myself and also the way I look. There is nothing that I would want to change. Why go under the knife when you are healthy?

Q What part of your body is your favourite?

I like my face - which is good as it's the body part that makes the first impression on others.

Q What are your must-dos before and after a run?

Before a run, I try to be as relaxed as possible and to keep myself hydrated. I visualise the running route and mentally go through my race plan.

During the run, I psych myself up with positive quotes - such as "pain is temporary, glory is forever" - and sing army songs in my head.

After the run, I rest and drink lots of fluid to help my body to recover.

Q How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?

I have the MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50 on my agenda, so keeping up with my fitness routine is very important. My goal is to complete the run in under seven hours.

Q What is the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness?

When I was training for the full Ironman race in 2009, I got up at 4am once a week to train for cycling. I also did daily runs at East Coast Park and swam laps at the public pool. My weekends were spent cycling at Changi Coastal Road from 6am to 2pm.

Q How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?

I met my wife eight years ago when we were both paddling for the Safra dragon boat team.

Both of us also enjoy running - we bonded over our passion for running and during our frequent runs together.

We hope to use sports to bring our family closer, and to influence our boys to exercise and live well.

Q How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia? Which is the most prized piece?

I have over 50 medals, for dragon boat races, running events, triathlons and adventure races.

All are prized possessions as each medal was achieved only with much sweat and effort.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2015, with the headline 'Running keeps him on fast track to fitness'. Print Edition | Subscribe