Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Caleb Goh

Caleb is an avid triathlete who has taken part in Ironman 70.3 events. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more. Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? Hit Cheryl up on Instagram or Facebook.

Name: Caleb Goh (@run_caleb_run)

Age: 28

Height: 1.78m

Weight: 68kg

Occupation: Programme & Partnership executive at APSN

Status: Single

Diet: I do not follow any diet plan. I don't really eat any breakfast unless I am going for a workout, then I’ll have something small. Lunch and dinner are as per normal, but Fridays are off days so I will only have a heavy lunch for the whole day. I do not really eat vegetables but I take in lots of different fruits or juices daily.

Training:

  • Monday – Swim (3km)

  • Tuesday – Speed Run (60-90 min)

  • Wednesday – Swim (3km)

  • Thursday – Bike Trainer Intervals (60-90 min)

  • Friday – Rest Day

  • Saturday – Morning: Swim (45min), Afternoon: Long run (90-120 min)

  • Sunday – Long Ride (3-4 hours)

Q: Were you a runner in your younger days?

A: I was in track and field in secondary school – my pet track events were 400m and 800m. I also enjoyed running for cross-country, both organised by the school and by the Wings Athlete Club.

Caleb start getting in triathlons during his army days, when he was enlisted in the commando unit. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

What sports did you get into as you got older?

I play ultimate frisbee and badminton with my friends and family leisurely. I started running 10km and half-marathons when I was enlisted into the commando unit during national service (NS), as most of our commanders are into long distance running and adventure racing. I had a few achievements in cross-country, as well as local adventure racing.

How did you get into triathlons?

During NS, one of my army mates introduced triathlon to me, since we were already doing plenty of run trainings. He felt that triathlons should be easy to train for, as the swim leg is the shortest and the cycling leg again using legs. So we signed up for the 2XU MegaTri event, even before we bought our bicycles. We ended up grinding through the race until the run leg; it was actually quite torturous.

What was your most memorable race?

My first Ironman 70.3 race at Subic Bay in 2016. I was in the 18-24 age group and there were only six participants. I went in without any expectations, except to enjoy the race. It was really gruelling for me as the road conditions of the bike route were really bad, and I barely made it through the run because of the heat.

Surprisingly I came in third, but I missed the prize-giving ceremony because one of my friends had crashed during the bike leg and I had to attend to him after the race.

Caleb likes the unpredictability of triathlons, how every race turns out differently even after plenty of preparation. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

What do you like about triathlons?

I like how unpredictable it is. No matter how you much you have prepared, you will never know how it will turn out on race day. I like how you can look forward to the next discipline of the race that you might be better in and catch up to your competitors. Because of how intense and long each race is, at one point you might feel strong, but the next moment, if you didn’t get your nutrition right, you might end up with cramps. That's why I train to prepare myself for the unexpected on race days.

What are your fitness goals now?

To be able to bring my swim time to 1min 40sec per 100m, biking at 35kmh for 90 kilometres, running at 1hr 40min for 21km, trying to go under five hours for the Ironman 70.3, as well as to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. Another fitness goal is to train and not get injured.

When did you feel the least confident about yourself?

I graduated from secondary school with grades that weren’t ideal and I couldn’t get into a polytechnic. I still carried my usual happy-go-lucky spirit, telling myself that something will definitely come through for me, but it was hard because deep down I felt pressure from the comparisons made against my siblings, cousins and friends who did better.

Caleb finds self-confidence after being enlisted into the commando unit. Having sponsors who believe in him also gave him lots of confidence. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)

Previously when I ran competitively in school, it was a form of validation for myself and I clung onto this identity. But once I left school, I didn’t have a running club anymore. I stopped exercising and started stress eating. I forced myself to study something that I had no interest in but I didn’t have a choice because I didn’t know what I wanted in life then.

How did you overcome that period?

Enlisting into commando helped me to become more confident, as we are the elite force in the army. It taught me so much about myself and I’ve also made many good friendships.

I also received a bike sponsorship from Elite Custom – which I am very grateful for because they saw potential in a nobody. That raised my confidence too. Other sponsors Tailwind Singapore and Hoka Singapore also came along to support me and I am so thankful, as all these wouldn’t have been possible if these people didn’t see something in me that I couldn’t.

Are you satisfied with your body now and why?

I’ve been gaining a tummy since I started work but I’m content with my body, as long as I'm able to train freely and happily do the things I like. How my body looks doesn't matter anymore.

Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Caleb Goh. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)