Fit And Fab

Running and looking young

Missing a training session means a decline in fitness, says national athlete Raviin Kumar. Ng Wan Ching reports.

Mr Raviin ran in the 1,500m men's track and field event at the SEA Games last year. The 26-year-old psychology student at SIM University makes sure he gets adequate sleep in between intensive training sessions.
Mr Raviin ran in the 1,500m men's track and field event at the SEA Games last year. The 26-year-old psychology student at SIM University makes sure he gets adequate sleep in between intensive training sessions.ST PHOTO: AZMI ATHNI

Q. What is your secret to looking so fabulous?

A. It's all thanks to running. Somehow, all that intense working out, basic core and flexibility exercises, and long runs have kept me looking young.

I also adopt a simple grooming regimen of using a face wash and shaving my face every day to get a fresh look. Sometimes I let my facial hair grow to get a stubble effect. I also use pomade or wax to style my hair.

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

A. I was never fat. I have tried to put on some weight but it always seems to stay around 53kg.

  • Bio Box


    AGE: 26

    HEIGHT: 1.71m

    WEIGHT: 53kg

    Mr Raviin will be racing against the sun on June 21 - the longest day of the year.

    In Asics Beat The Sun 2016, eight teams from Europe, the Americas, Oceania, Asia and Africa will have 15hr 41min 35sec to cover a 150km course at Mont Blanc in Switzerland, in an attempt to complete it between sunrise and sunset.

    Each team will have three amateur and three seasoned athletes from the continent that it is representing. There will be an amateur and an expert coming from each participating country, with the US having three seasoned and three amateur runners. Singapore is participating as part of Team Oceania and Mr Raviin is the nation's "seasoned runner".

    Some of the chosen seasoned runners have been through training and run trail marathons for competitions. Others, like Mr Raviin, are skilled in running, and have been training in trail road running for some time.

    Mont Blanc is made up of different terrains. The runners will have to be familiar with trail running as the road surfaces are often uneven and there will be inclines.

    Once all the amateur applicants from 22 countries have signed up, they will gain access to a special online training programme.

    From these amateur applicants, 24 will be chosen, determined by a combination of online voting and the decision of a panel of experts. These will be announced on May 23. One of them will be from Singapore.

    The seasoned athletes from the teams will then mentor the selected amateur runners in the final month leading up to June 21.

    Mr Raviin is looking forward to the challenge. The psychology student at SIM University picked up athletics from his father and uncle.

    Ng Wan Ching

I was very unfit a couple of times, when I had a minor tendon rupture near my right ankle in 2014, and a stress fracture on the left ankle after the SEA Games in 2015.

Although I did not become fat, I felt un-fabulous.

Q. What is your diet like?

A. Breakfast: Two servings of cereal, milk or a cup of Milo and four slices of buttered white bread.

Lunch: It is usually one serving of pasta or rice with some chicken slices or fish fillet.

Dinner: I usually eat dinner outside as my training ends late. It can be anything, including mee goreng and yong tau foo.

Supper: If I'm still awake, I'll eat cereal again. I love cereal.

Q. What are your indulgences?

A. Bubble tea - honey milk tea with pearls from Gong Cha, vanilla ice cream and waffles and McDonald's.

Q. What do you do to relax?

A. I hang out with my girlfriend and we catch a movie or head downtown to shop and indulge ourselves.

Q. How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

A. The most important thing is sleep, especially during weekdays, as every day is an early day for me.

After training at night, I try to finish my dinner fast and head home to catch up on work and head to bed. Usually, I sleep by midnight and wake up at 7am for the morning training sessions.

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

A. My family, friends and running.

Q. Would you go for plastic surgery and why?

A. Haha, nope! Because I already look too good.

Q. Do you think you're sexy?

A. Yes, I am. I believe confidence is the key to being sexy and I have loads of that.

Q. What's your favourite part of your body?

A. My abs. I'm definitely not as ripped as many others out there but my abs are a clear indicator of my core strength and the better my core strength is, the better a runner I am.

Q. And least favourite?

A. My nose, which I think is a little too big for my face.

Q. What are your must-dos before and after a training session?

A. I will listen to some songs to get me hyped up before any session. If the session turns out well, I usually treat myself to some nice food.

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

A. It is really important for me. As athletes, we are always striving to be better than we were yesterday.

If you miss a training session, not only are you stagnating, you are also deteriorating in fitness, which is a major setback for athletes.

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

A. In the name of diet, I have abstained from all my food indulgences for close to six months.

Q. What is the biggest sacrifice you have made in the name of fitness?

A. Family time, especially when I'm out training and competing.

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

A. Most of my friends are runners, so we cheer one another on.

My cousin has taken time off her busy schedule to take part in some road races, which she gets really excited about. My classmates take my advice as a runner to make their lifestyles healthier.

Q. What do your friends and family say about your active lifestyle?

A. They usually say I'm crazy but no one has ever told me I should stop. When I'm injured, they tell me to rest. Neither have they ever made me regret the decision to be an athlete. I am grateful for their support.

Q. How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia at home?

A. I have loads of shoes, jerseys, medals and trophies. I started clearing out my medals and trophies last year as they were starting to occupy too much space on the shelves at home, and started to collect dust. I'm currently negotiating with my mother to let me keep the really pretty-looking trophies.

Q. Among them, what is your most prized possession?

A. I took part in the 1,500m men's track and field event at the 28th SEA Games last year. The SEA games jersey and spiked shoes are my most prized possessions.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2016, with the headline 'Running and looking young '. Subscribe