Blazing a trail in motorsports

Ms Claire Jedrek, marketing director of the go-kart circuit, The Karting Arena in Turf Club Road, is a semi-pro race car driver and Singapore’s only female race car driver. She runs, swims and plays tennis to keep fit. She also visits at a gym for high-intensity interval training. Photos: TNP, ST

What do you do to keep fit?

My main workout involves doing cardio exercises outdoors when it's warm in order to prepare myself for the sweltering 50 deg C temperature I am subjected to in my car when I am racing in Malaysia.

Driving is not just about sitting and steering. Your heart rate rises up to 80 per cent or more of its maximum rate during a race.

I like to switch things around. For example, I do three or four runs a week, ranging from a fast-paced 3km one to a slower 21km run. When my muscles are aching, I hit the pool and swim at least 10 laps or play tennis for two hours.

I also visit the gym for high-intensity interval training, which consists of eight sets of exercises with breaks in between. I do these sessions three to six times a week for 30 to 60 minutes each time.

What is your secret to looking so fabulous?

I know my body type, its limitations, what clothes suit me best and what food affects me.

A diet with less sugar works for me. It comprises mostly vegetable carbohydrates, no red meat and more lean meat such as white fish.

That said, I think anyone who lives life positively will look fabulous.

Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?

I went through a period of indulging in late-night drinks with friends for about two years in my mid-20s.

Since I started adopting a healthier lifestyle, I have not looked back.

What is your diet like?

For breakfast, I usually eat scrambled eggs and toast, or a bowl of fruit with fat-free and sugar-free Greek yogurt. A cup of coffee is a necessity.

For lunch, I love homemade sandwiches with layers of fresh avocado, lettuce or spinach, cheese and ham. For dinner, I love cooking a slab of salmon or chicken, with plenty of vegetables.

I love desserts. I do not consume a lot of sugar in my meals or drinks throughout the day, so I'm happy to indulge in biscuits or chocolate after dinner, without any guilt.

What are your indulgences?

My guilty pleasures have to be butter and cheese. I always have a platter of cheese in my fridge.

What do you do to relax?

To relax, my go-to activity would be sports. Other than that, I enjoy short clips of stand-up comedy.

I also help out in charities, such as Habitat for Humanity Singapore, which runs Project Homeworks, an initiative that provides clean homes for the elderly and the disabled poor living in one- and two-room flats.

The experiences I've had with the charity has helped me to step back and put things into perspective.

What are the three most important things in your life?

My family and boyfriend, who have supported me in every crazy adventure.

Motorsport, which has helped me to become more positive, and given me a competitive edge.

Finally, positive thinking. We all have our low moments and the only way to get back on track is to have a healthy mind.

Would you go for plastic surgery?

I have decided that once I have kids, if my tummy needs a bit of a nip and tuck then, maybe.

Do you think you're sexy?

If I could define it in my own terms, it would mean having confidence. I like to think that in that case, yes I am "sexy".

This article was first published on June 18, 2015.
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