Singapore #Fitspo of the week: Neyton Tan

Neyton Tan is active in triathlon.

Neyton Tan is active in triathlon. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Life is beyond the numbers on the scale and your body is capable of so much more! Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspiring men and women in Singapore who lead healthy and active lifestyles. Do you have someone to recommend? blow Cheryl on Instagram or Facebook!

Surname: Neyton Tan (@neyton)

Age: 36

Height: 1.82 m

Weight: 67kg

Profession: educator

Status: Married

Meal: I’m not on a strict diet, but I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for the past five years. In general, I avoid sauces and condiments for food. I’m also not a big fan of desserts or chocolate, which contributes to a good diet. I drink 2.5 to 3 liters of water and avoid sugar and carbonated drinks. I prefer to drink oolong tea or ayataka green tea.

Exercise: Being a triathlete and runner, my weekly activities mostly revolve around swimming, cycling and running. My schedule usually depends on my work, but I spend about 6-8 hours on weekday evenings or weekends doing all three activities. Then at the weekend I go on a bike ride with my friends between 70 and 100 km. I also hit the gym at BFT 3-4 times to make sure I’m incorporating strength and conditioning into my weekly routine.

Q: Were you active in sports when you were young?

A: When I was young I was a very skinny kid (I still am) and wasn’t very active in sports. I played a bit of volleyball and was into dancing when I was a CCA in high school. After going to polytechnic, I switched to taekwondo, but was mostly behind the scenes as a quartermaster (not the brightest kid on the block, really).

Neyton competed in taekwondo, volleyball, wakesurfing and scuba diving in his youth.

Neyton competed in taekwondo, volleyball, wakesurfing and scuba diving in his youth. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

What sports did you take up when you were older?

Due to my early volleyball days, I started playing beach volleyball with my friends in 2008. I was generally active and hung out on Sentosa a lot most of the time. I got used to the heat quite a bit and enjoyed walking around in the sun. I also enjoy wakesurfing and scuba diving, but these hobbies are considered luxuries that I now only do when I have the time.

How did you start running?

During my training days at the Army Officer Cadet School, we had to walk 5 km a day, rain or shine. I didn’t really like running back then, so I just did what I was told. After I was Operationally Ready (ORD), I continued to run to keep fit within my regime. It was easy, uncomplicated and all you needed was a pair of shoes. So I ventured into longer distances and competed in races that kept getting longer…

When did running become a bigger thing for you?

Right after I ordered I told myself I had to run a marathon as part of my bucket list. So off I went, training alone not knowing what I was doing, and painfully finishing it in 5 hours and 30 minutes, walking right past the 30k mark and cramping. After that, I started joining groups, listening to podcasts, and attending talks by renowned runners — you name it, I did it.

I am grateful for the community that surrounds me and these people have been instrumental in helping me grow as an athlete. Even as I got faster, I realized there was so much more to racing.

What are some of the highlights of your running journey?

Over the years of running, I started venturing into triathlons in 2013. I started swimming breaststroke, rode a single speed bike and ran like my lungs were on fire. Marathon running was a 4 hour 30 minute activity at this point, and Ironman was the next level of endurance I wanted to achieve.

I knew the full Ironman was much harder, so I trained for a half Ironman instead to prepare. The thrill of endurance racing where there are so many variables got me hooked not knowing if I could finish the race but just competing against myself. After the race ended, it was time to register for the next one. My goal is to finish 50 marathons and 10 Ironmans in my lifetime. To date I have 33 marathons (42km in case some people think 5km is a marathon), 6 half ironman races (70.3 miles/113km) and 2 ironman races (140.6 miles/226km). ) completed.

One of the most memorable experiences of my running journey was participating in the Tokyo Marathon in 2019 as my first World Major Marathon. My wife was working at Abbott at the time and I had the luxury of attending the event in the VIP area. The Japanese were very detailed and provided one of the best pre-race experiences I have ever had. The race was very well organized and fans flocked to the entire 42km distance. Everyone cheered you on, from toddlers to old grannies in wheelchairs clapping along. With the temperature of the race being in the single digits and it raining for most of the race, the most unexpected thing to see was a guy holding miso soup mid-race.

Neyton has completed 33 marathons, six half Ironman and two Ironman races.

Neyton has completed 33 marathons, six half Ironman and two Ironman races. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

I was so grateful for that bowl of warm MSG soup and thanked him profusely as I kept running. As soon as you passed the 40km mark, the crowd roared and kept urging you to finish, loudly shouting “Gambatte! Gambettes!“. As I crossed the finish line, the ushers were very efficient in handing out rescue blankets to the participants and directing us to the shelter. I would definitely recommend everyone to try entering this race by voting and you won’t regret it.

You are also known as Spiderman in the racing community because you run races in a full Spiderman suit. How did it all start?

It was from a dinner and dance in 2014 where my friends and I dressed up as Marvel Avengers. I chose Spiderman as it was my childhood hero as most heroes back then seemed to be either from another planet (alien) or super rich (wealthy), but Spiderman felt like a very down to earth person who had conflicts and identity issues on a daily basis . I loved Spiderman so much that I even used the suit for my pre-wedding photo shoot. (Bless my wife who allowed it.)

Months after the event I saw the suit lying in my closet and thought when will I get the chance to wear it again? That’s when I started donning the suit for shorter (5k) runs before slowly ramping it up to 21k in the suit for the 2XU Half Marathon in 2015. I’ve continued to ‘upgrade’ my suits over the years. Finally, in 2019, I was able to run 42km in a suit at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. I think the suit is a very motivating factor for people to run. Be it for photo opportunities or the fact that they can walk next to me or (hopefully) faster than me.

The Spiderman suit definitely gets a lot of attention and I’ve been invited to various races over the past seven years. The most significant event I have attended was attending Relay Majulah in 2019 raising funds for those in need supported by the President’s Star Charity for 67 beneficiaries combined as 200 runners over 200 hours for 2,000 km. Individually, I ran 20 km without water or toilet breaks in the suit. I then decided to use the suit for a better purpose e.g. B. to raise funds for beneficiaries or charities that I feel need more attention.

They work in the pharmaceutical science industry, first as a trainer in the private sector and now as an educator in the public sector. What made you decide to switch?

Having spent almost 10 years in the industry, I wanted to use my experience to bridge the gap between students and prepare them for the world of work. Throughout my time in the industry, education has been a big part of the roles I’ve taken on and what has changed is just the target audience.

Neyton is known for donning a full Spiderman suit during his races.

Neyton is known for donning a full Spiderman suit during his races. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Were there incidents when you were young that made you feel unsafe?

I grew up without my father and I have my mother and grandmother to thank for raising me. As an only child, I had most of my interactions with my grandmother as she looked after me until I was 12 years old. After her stroke, it was me and a helper who took care of her until she died.

My mother was the only breadwinner and that meant a lot for me to find out growing up. I became more sociable and learned to quickly adapt to my surroundings. I am very thankful for the friends I made along the way that helped me to become who I am today.

When did you feel the least confident?

There have been moments in my life where I’ve thought about if there were things I wish I had done differently, but I guess I’ve turned out fine. I spent a lot of time being open with my close friends around me and this helped me gain the confidence to address some of the insecurities I had growing up.

Have you ever struggled with your body?

I’ve never really had a problem with my body weight, but as an ectomorph, it was difficult to gain mass on my body naturally without taking supplements. I’ve been trying to increase my protein intake and make sure my diet stays healthy.

Are you happy with your body now?

Yes! I believe in moderation in eating and exercise, too much of anything almost never ends well. If I snack or eat too much, I will try to increase my exercise output or eat less the following week. I tend to live to eat, not eat to live. As a reward, I occasionally treat myself to a fast-food meal.

Have you ever received comments about your body?

I’m thankful that I can fit into the Spiderman suit and most people say I look good in it. Hopefully I can stay as long as possible, ageless, under the mask.

Singapore #Fitspo of the week: Neyton Tan.

Singapore #Fitspo of the week: Neyton Tan. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

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