Just when you think you're tough enough


Chai Yee Kuan: From Disliking Outdoor Exercises to Finishing Marathons

There are many motivational stories on how one began their journey in running, but 30-year-old Chai Yee Kuan took it to the next level when she pursued running as a lifelong hobby. The ten-time marathon finisher shared with ToughASIA her unique story on how she fell in love with this life transformation journey

ToughASIA: When did you start running and what made you interested in it?
Yee Kuan: I was a person that disliked exercises and sweat in the past. I have always avoided exposing myself under the sun. But in 2015, I started running on a treadmill because I had to keep fit for my sister’s wedding. That was where my journey started.

Apart from that, my family members are also running enthusiasts which have led to this current lifestyle.

ToughASIA: Do you run alone or in a group?
Yee Kuan: Usually when I am on a training plan, I run with my partner. But before MCO, I was active in group runs hosted by ASICS Running Club.

ToughASIA: What are your regular running gears and accessories?
Yee Kuan: Just a simple sleeveless top and shorts with an ASICS’s running shoe and COROS’s GPS watch. But some colourful and beautiful socks can definitely lift up the running mood.

ToughASIA: How do you manage your diet during the lockdown?
Yee Kuan: I try to keep my diet as clean as possible.

Breakfast: Usually, I will have a cup of black coffee and a fruit smoothie with pea protein and granola.

Lunch: Eating clean with vegetables and meat such as chicken breasts, broccoli and other vegetables. I try to avoid carbohydrates from rice and instead opt for carbohydrates in vegetables and potatoes.

Dinner: Definitely home cooked food with a balanced diet.

I will have my cheat meal at times such as doughnuts and cakes.

ToughASIA: What is your workout programme to stay fit?
Yee Kuan: Weight training (dumbbell lifting), tabata, stepping board exercises, running drills, skipping and yoga.

My recommendation is always a mix between cardio and strength training. Burpees, bridges, squats, planks, and push-ups can help to strengthen a runner’s muscle and stamina, as well as to prevent injury in the future.

Moreover, exercising for 30 minutes, three to four times a week can also improve mental health, especially for those who are suffering from depression during this lockdown.

ToughASIA: What are your best achievements in sports?
Yee Kuan: I am just an ordinary marathoner. I have joined a total of ten marathons over the course of four years and I have managed to achieve a PB at the 2018 and 2019 Twincity Marathon.

ToughASIA: What is your advice for those who would like to workout outdoors during this pandemic?
Yee Kuan: Do not join any group runs or meet your friends. If you are running outdoors, always keep yourself two meters away from anyone passing by. Remember to bring a mask with you and put it on immediately after your workout.


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ToughASIA: You have tried the JoyMix 100% vegan Pea Protein. Can you describe your experience?
Yee Kuan: It is vegan and allergen-free. So it is safe for people with allergies. Best of all, it doesn’t have any flavour, which is perfect as I can mix it with my breakfast smoothie.

ToughASIA: Do you feel any difference after two weeks of using the JoyMix Pea Protein?
Yee Kuan: It has helped tremendously with my post-workout recovery. And because of this, I can carry on with a second running session in the evening.

ToughASIA: Did the JoyMix Pea Protein help to improve your performance?
Yee Kuan: I don’t feel as tired after consuming JoyMix’s Pea Protein and it definitely speeds up my recovery progress. So far, I am still able to maintain my training performance.

ToughASIA: Will you recommend JoyMix Pea Protein to fellow active persons?
Yee Kuan: Sure! But it depends on the person’s training load. So, I would recommend a person to understand their training load and consider the protein intake required by the body when they are consuming JoyMix’s Pea Protein.

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