Fit And Fab

Tip-top condition is key

Entrepreneur Charmain Tan tells Joan Chew this helps her keep up with the tech start-up scene

Ms Tan is trying to better her personal best time - five hours and 15 minutes - for a full marathon.
Ms Tan is trying to better her personal best time - five hours and 15 minutes - for a full marathon.ST PHOTO: AZMI ATHNI

Q. How has your exercise regimen changed over the years?

A. I used to be a lot more competitive in team sports such as floorball, soccer, road relays and hockey.

I represented my hostel at the National University of Singapore in floorball and, after graduating, I played for the clubs.

Although I still do most of these sports, it is now recreational - mainly for exercise and to keep in touch with friends.

I now compete with myself, trying to better my personal best time for a full marathon - five hours and 15 minutes.

Q. What is your experience with running apps?

A. I use Runkeeper to track my timing when I run outdoors. It is quite useful as it updates me on the distance I have covered.

For running in the gym, I have tried RunSocial, which triggered my competitive nature to run faster than others on the app.

Q. Was there ever a time when you weren't fit and fab?

A. I have always been very active. The only exception was probably when I was studying technopre- neurship and was an intern in a medtech start-up in Sweden in 2011.

  • Bio Box


    AGE: 26

    HEIGHT: 1.64m

    WEIGHT: 50kg

    While working and studying in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2011, Ms Tan had a problem to solve - how to handle her touchscreen in sub-zero temperatures while keeping her hands warm.

    It led her to come up with winter gloves for touchscreen devices such as the iPhone and iPad, which were "a great hit" online, she said.

    A year later, competitors jumped on the bandwagon and sales took a hit.

    She ended her first business in early 2014 and founded Pear Comms, a company that helps businesses boost their sales through enterprise solutions.

    Ms Tan, who is single, holds a Bachelor of Science in Statistics from the National University of Singapore.

It was challenging to run outdoors since the temperature was -20 deg C. I wore a cold-weather mask to help me breathe more easily when I ran outdoors. I realised that my clothes became tighter with the reduction in exercise.

Q. What's your diet like?

A. I am quite health-conscious and am careful about what I eat. I avoid deep-fried food and try to limit my intake of sweets.

Breakfast for me is usually wholemeal bread with an egg.

Lunch comprises herbal soup or fish soup or salad. My dinner is usually a salad or fruit.

Q. What are your indulgences?

A. I indulge in dark chocolates and wine about twice a week.

Q. What are the things you value in life?

A. The most important thing in my life is my health, as it affects everything else. Good health will allow me to continue being productive and to enjoy life.

In addition, my family, friends and my start-up are critical.

The tech start-up scene is an exciting, fast-paced and competitive environment. So keeping my- self in tip-top condition is key.

Q. Would you go for plastic surgery?

A. No, never. I know that there are other ways to work on one's appearance.

Q. Do you think you're sexy?

A. Sexy enough for sales. Haha, just joking.

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

A. I always get enough sleep. After the session, I must drink 100Plus to rehydrate.

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

A. I did a full marathon - the Sundown marathon last year. I trained for about three months and for the last month, I exercised self- discipline and abstained from alcohol .

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2016, with the headline 'Tip-top condition is key '. Print Edition | Subscribe