Matteo Guidicelli on his passion for triathlon: “There’s so much to learn, parang it’s part of your lifestyle already.”

IMAGE Nerisa Almo

Matteo Guidicelli on how he became more serious about triathlon training: “Nahihirapan talaga ako [sa umpisa]. Sobrang sakit ng katawan ko. Sobrang na-challenge ako, and from that day I said to myself, ‘Matteo, magte-train ka na nito.’”


Even before he reached his teen years, Filipino-Italian celebrity Matteo Guidicelli was already actively engaging in different sports.

He initially got interested with swimming and soccer before he got into car racing.

So, even after he embarked on a major career change by joining show business in 2007, Matteo still couldn't shake off his penchant for being a die-hard sports buff.

Right now, for instance, the Kapamilya actor is carefully dividing his time between his acting priorities and his triathlon training.

In an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), the Men’s Health February 2013 cover guy said it’s not really easy to focus on acting and training at the same time.

Matteo, who took interest in triathlon training only last year, related how he tries to manage his time to successfully fullfil his acting goals and athletic pursuits.

“It’s a different sport, it’s an endurance sport so, kumbaga, you get better.

“The more you practice, the better you get.

“So, it takes a lot of time and in triathlon you need a lot of rest, you need a lot of sleep.

“In showbiz, wala tayong tulog, di ba?

“Kaya I really have to manage my time very well.”

He also recalled, “In the beginning, hindi talaga ako marunong mag-manage, kaya nagkasakit ako. I always get colds [and] cough.

“I ended up getting bronchitis one time from training too much.

“So, from learning the hard way, I learned it.

“’Tapos all my coaches always used to say ‘Matteo, recovery is part of the training.’ But I never believed.

“Sabi ko, when I have time, tira ako nang tira, train ako nang train.

“I learned it the hard way, so I got sick.

“So, ngayon alam ko na that if I don’t have enough sleep, if I don’t have five to six hours of sleep, I won’t train because it’s bad for the body.

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“So ‘yon, I have to rest before I train so, I really manage my time properly.”

LOVING TRIATHLON. Matteo admitted that at first he was hesitant to try triathlon.

However, according to the celebrity triathlete, “My dad was the one that pushed me into it.

“My coach before, his name was Noy Hopson, he was one of the Philippine Ironman champions before, he went to convince my dad and then, he [my dad] convinced me to try it.

“Sa umpisa ayoko talaga, then sabi ko ‘Ano ‘to? Swim, bike, run. Boring, ganun-ganon.”

“Even after I joined it, nahihirapan talaga ako, sobrang sakit ng katawan ko.”

It was this pain that actually pushed him to put more focus on his newfound sport.

“Sobrang na-challenge ako,” said Matteo.

“From that day, I said to myself, ‘Matteo, magte-train ka na nito.’

“And there, it began there. I took triathlon seriously.”

(CLICK HERE to watch related video on PEParazzi.)

REGULAR TRAINING. Matteo is so serious about his training that he really squeezes it in his schedule especially when he’s attending a triathlon event.

So far, the most recent and hardest event for Matteo was, he told PEP, “Sa Hawaii, yung XTERRA World Championship sa Hawaii.

“The best of the best were there. The Olympic champions were there, lahat, e.

“So, kami naman taga-Pilipinas, we were there just to experience it and just to experience a good race, you know.”

Curiously, we asked Matteo what his typical training schedule is like.

He related, “Basically, if I have a day with Noel Salvador [a triathlon coach], he lives in Alabang also, we train together. We get up 5:00 a.m. in the morning. We go for a bike ride, depende, e.

“Kung weekday, we go for short bike ride, maybe 30 to 40 kilometers of bike ride.

“Then, we got, for a short run after bike, maybe 5 to 10 kilometers, kumbaga Monday ‘yan.

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“‘Tapos, Tuesday naman we could go swim and then run.

“Wednesday naman, we could go bike-run.

“Thursday, we just run and on the weekends we go for long bike rides, mga hanggang 100-kilometer bike rides, mga long stuff.

“It really depends on the schedule.

“There are days also that we do swim-bike-run, but basically alternate or sometimes one lang.

“Depende sa schedule, e, depende sa tulog ko.”

There are times, according to Matteo, when he will bring his training partner on the set of his TV series.

“Mag-train ako kung nakatulog ako or kung nasa Paraiso kami, halimbawa, nagte-taping kami sa isla, magsi-swimming ako sa dagat mismo.

“May kasama ako palagi, e, parang training partner ko.”

Of course, Matteo knows that the body always has a limitation.

So, he said, “Kung mabigat yung schedules sa take, marami yung eksena o mahirap yung eksena, hindi ako magte-training kasi wala na akong energy sa gabi.”

“HINDI AKO MAGSASAWA.” Although his new sport is very tiring and requires a lot of dedication, Matteo doesn't think he will get tired of it.

“I don’t think I’m gonna ever be sawa with triathlon,” he smiled.

“There’s so much to learn and parang it’s part of your lifestyle already.

“You’ll learn so much.

“Kumbaga, akala ng mga tao it’s just swimming, biking and running.

“Pero marami kang matututunan sa swim pa lang, sa bike pa lang, sa running, marami.

“Then, you can learn so much sa nutrition, the way you eat.

“You feel better, you have a better lifestyle and it’s healthier, e.”

Matteo also hopes that he can still do sports even when he gets older.

“I hope the rest of my life hanggang 70 years old ako,” he muses.

CLICK HERE for video of his interview.


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