Max Tay - Running

Max Tay is a dedicated runner and fitness enthusiast who has made incredible progress in his personal health journey. Through hard work and determination, he was able to lose 30 kilograms and transform his body. He is a true inspiration to those looking to make a change in their own lives. Let us learn more about Max.

Sport: Running
Name: Max Tay
IG handle: @fatpunk_runs
FB handle: Max Tay

1. When did you discover that this was your passion and that you were going to pursue it as far as you could?
It was at the start of 2019 when I discovered that even a 103kg man with chronic backaches and knee pains could still manage a slow, slow, VERY SLOW jog.

2. Who inspired you?
My wife, although "inspired" is probably not as accurate a word as "commanded"!

3. Have you participated in any major competition or events?
Not really. Up until now, I've yet to participate in any real or major physical race because COVID happened just as I was getting somewhat serious about running.

4. In your opinion, what was your best performance?
I am probably proudest in completing the 31km THE HARDCORE running challenge designed and organised by The Running Guild SG that required participants to follow a predetermined trail route that took us on some of the toughest off-road paths in Singapore and scaling over 900km in total. No, I did not manage to get into the Hall of Fame but finishing it within the cut-off time was enough for me at this stage.

5. What’s your training like when training for a competition?
Months before the start of the race, I did plenty of trail runs and regularly forced myself to face my greatest fear, the endless stairs at Bukit Timah Hill!

6. Do you maintain a special diet?
I don't believe in completely cutting off any major food groups but I watch my calories intake making sure it's always at a deficit. I'm learning to pay attention to my macros as well, using an app.

7. When not training for a competition, what’s your training routine like? Do you cross train? What does a typical week look like?
I mostly run five to six days a week, mostly at slow easy pace. There will either be a speed interval session or a hill-running session at midweek. Every weekend, I will do a long run of at least 21km. Three to four times a week, I will do some simple strength training with dumb bells and bodyweight. Some days, I will also go for a ride on my son's cheap foldable bike. I have been thinking about getting started on jump ropes as well.

8. Do you see yourself as an inspirational role model for aspiring athletes?
I am far from being an athlete but I do hope to inspire more sedentary folks out there to start getting healthy much like I had by showing them that it is definitely within their reach. I hope to use my own fitness story to inspire them to change their lifestyle.

9. Where is your favourite training spots?
I love running the hilly slopes of NTU (Nanyang Technological University) near my home. It is always challenging and guarantees a great workout.

10. If there are readers who would like to get started in your sport, what advice do you have?
Don't overthink it. Get the gears and get started. Start small. Make it sustainable. And gradually improve on it. Sustainability is the key. Always. This is true with both exercising and diet. Find a way to love the process. When you love what you're doing, you will look forward to the next session instead of dreading it. And when you start seeing the results, you won't want to stop. EVER!

11. Have you always been fit and fab? Was there a time when you were not?
I was fat for most of my adult life. For a good 27 years since leaving secondary school, I had not exercised a single day and was very much living a very sedentary lifestyle. I ate anything I wanted, whenever I wanted and in whatever quantity I desired. It was inevitable that I piled on the pounds and was almost 110kg at my heaviest. Along the way, I had tried many weight-loss diets and products that usually worked for a couple of months but eventually resulted in even more weight-gain because they were all largely unsustainable.

I finally started going on daily morning walks in January, 2019 at my wife's command! What started as a daily 2km walk eventually became a daily 5km run for a whole year. I lost over 20kg by the end of that first year. My confidence grew and I slowly trained myself for longer runs.

My longest run is now 50km and my daily run is 10km. I have lost a total of 30kg.

12. Do you something else about yourself that you would like to share with our readers?
I think I have really big and puffy eyebags. That is why 90% of my photos are with Sunday Shades on!

Max Tay's journey to fitness serves indeed as an inspiration to many. He has overcome the struggles of a sedentary lifestyle and weight gain, and has transformed himself into a dedicated runner and fitness enthusiast. His approach to health and fitness is one of balance and sustainability, rather than drastic and restrictive measures. He encourages others to start small, make it sustainable, and gradually improve upon it. He is a true role model for those looking to improve their own health and fitness, and his favourite training spot, the hilly slopes of NTU, serves as a challenging and rewarding location for his workouts. Overall, Max's story shows that with determination and the right approach, anyone can achieve their fitness goals.