Triathlon ‘myths’ debunked by Matteo Guidicelli and Sam Betten

Barry Viloria on Aug 31, 2016 07:04 PM
Matteo, Betten debunk triathlon ‘myths’
Still a little scared to try the sport? The two experienced triathletes weigh in on whatever issues you have! (Photos by Saucony)

Triathlon is growing to be one of the trendiest sports recently. Case in point: the 2,978 who had participated at the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Cebu in early August—a mix of Filipinos and foreigners from all walks of life, from serious athletes to celebrities to people with disabilities. Still, some of us find it intimidating either as a sport or a pastime.

But we shouldn’t be, famed triathletes and Saucony ambassadors Matteo Guidicelli and the recent tournament’s third placer Sam Betten both agree on. Here, the two experienced athletes tell us what triathlon beliefs to invest in and otherwise!

Myth 1: It’s high-maintenance.

Sure, triathlon—as it combines three sports: running, cycling, and swimming—already seems a lot, thus needing more resources than usual. For Guidicelli, though, you can be a little tight-fisted on your equipment and location options. He says, “I just get a good pair of shoes na maalaga para iwas injury. I then get a nice good bike. For starters, I recommend Specialized Bicycle Shop. As for swimming, you can swim in a pool or, even better, an open ocean. I live in Alabang, so I swim at the De La Salle Zobel pool.” But, it being high-maintenance would also depend if you’re “OC” like Betten. He explains, “I’m very particular since it’s three sports combined. I have very different equipment per sport.”


Testing out my new @scodyaus race suit with a dive into the crystal clear waters of New Caledonia. 🐟🐠🐋

A photo posted by Sam Betten (@sambetten) on

Myth 2: It requires you to be already fit.

Do you have to be that lean to be able to carry yourself across three elements? Not necessarily, if you ask Guidicelli and Bettern who both admit being shocked over guys bigger than them who are also into the sport. The Filipino actor narrates, “These guys are my inspiration. When I watch them, I’m like, ‘Oh, my God!’ They try so hard to do their best. They’re doing this for themselves but they’re already inspiring us just by that” The Elite Aussie athlete, meanwhile, says, “I know some who weight 150 to 200 kilos. They get inspired to do it, lose weight, and have a healthy lifestyle after.”

Myth 3: The training is time-consuming.

That’s more the case if you’re a serious athlete, says Betten, 28, who has been into the sport since 15. “Everyone’s gonna be start from somewhere.” In his case, Betten trains 20 hours a week and dedicates two and a half months of preparations if not a full year to train for more “important” tournaments like Ironman. Guidicelli personally recommends three to six months as “base training”—although, for the recent Ironman, he is vocal about having had less time to train because of work. “I only had two weeks to prepare. It wasn’t a very smart thing to do. I was actually shy to put my tri suit!” he laughs.


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