Shandi Pan

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Q. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do for a living?

My name is Shandi and I’m a Taiwanese South African who loves fitness & running. I’m currently working in JHB in sales (retail) for a South African company. I love Lorna Jane’s Active Living philosophy which is based on these 3 principles 1.)MOVE every day 2.) NOURISH your body from inside out 3.) BELIEVE in yourself. I also have a very sweet tooth and I try bake mostly Paleo-friendly treats so that I can cheat the healthy way 😊

Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life? 

Unfortunately in 2015, I found out that I have a neuroma (basically, inflamed nerves) in my right foot and that had quite a big impact on my mentality towards training… but I try to workout at least 3-4 times a week at the gym; be it running or HIIT (high intensity interval training). Yoga is also in my weekly workout but I take preference in the cardio or weight sessions. Unfortunately I work in an industry where I work weekends- naturally, that means I miss out on half of the road races every month. That makes the races I do run even more enjoyable.

Q. When and why did you start running?

Probably in 2007- this was when I started noticing runs on the weekends and always wanted to participate. I always felt a sense of respect when I saw people run long distances so I thought I would give it a shot. A race that I did year after year, was the Spar Women’s run in Centurion but thereafter I started to enter other runs as I felt there were way too many people doing Spar Women’s and didn’t want the bottleneck effect of runners to affect my time. I started running as it was something easy to get into -easy in terms of not needing equipment and it being a one-man sport. 

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?

The feeling of regret and disappointment. It’s always the waking up early that is hard but once I get to the starting line, I get hyped up with the runners around me.

Q. What is the longest distance you have ran?

A half marathon (21.1km)- my first one was the Tom Jenkins one in Pretoria with that monstrous 800m incline!

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?

I’ve never thought of that as there’s always plenty of runners at the weekend runs; but knowing that there are so many others who share the passion for running makes it pretty amazing.

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise among the youth?

I believe technology has a lot to do with the lack of exercise- it’s much more fun to play games on the computer than exercising… but then again, PokemonGo came out and I’m sure it got a lot on inactive people to walk about and explore! Maybe more apps can be made to encourage everyone, not just the youth, to do more exercises? People just need to be made aware of the health benefits of exercise

Q. What was your best running experience?

There are so many races that I look back on, but one that was the most touching and thrilling is the Wings for Life World Run ( -all proceeds of this run went towards spinal cord research. This run started at the same time around the world and you basically run as far as you can until the Catcher cars get to you. Catcher cars were sent 30min into the run and as long as you were ahead of the Catcher car, you would still be in the race.

I was touched because there were numerous participants in wheelchairs who wanted to complete as much mileage as they could without the help of other runners.

Q. What was your worst running experience?

Taipei Fubon Marathon in 2013. It was winter and raining (the rain is acidic in Taiwan).. I didn’t have a cap on either so was very worried about going bald from the acid rain. I had also hit the wall at I remember after the race my friends had said that my whole body was turning blue/purple because of the cold. The towel I was using f was also soaking wet and I had nothing else to try keep myself warm. Very glad I didn’t catch a cold afterwards though! 

Q. How do you push through the pain?

Knowing that every step I take makes it one step closer to the finish line
Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?

Start small and alternate between speed walking and running if you can’t run the full distance. Check out and have a look at their training plans. I would recommend doing the road races- the spirit of runners in the mornings is amazing and they will always support and encourage you!

Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you?

Instagram @shandi_za 

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