The difference between exercising and training is purpose. Nobody knows this better than Matthew Neale, a 35-year-old husband, father, and enterprise architect in Brisbane, Australia. Eighteen months ago, Matthew was exercising without purpose. Having been forced to give up his longtime passions of karate and kickboxing due to knee pain, he was cycling and lifting weights for the vague and unexciting purpose of “keeping fit” when his brother completed a triathlon with the help of an 80/20 Endurance plan, inspiring Matthew to follow suit.
Sadly, in May of this year, his brother and sister-in-law lost a full-term baby, and suddenly Matthew’s training had a whole new purpose, even though his second triathlon—an Ironman 70.3 event originally scheduled for September—had been scotched by the Coronavirus pandemic. A friend told Matthew about an audax cycling event (a solo ride against the clock) of 227 km featuring 3100 meters of elevation gain that he decided to use as a fundraiser for Precious Wings, a nonprofit that provides support to parents who’ve lost a child. On the strength of 80/20 training, Matthew was able to complete the ride in 10 hours, raising more than $10,000 (and losing 13 kg) in the process.
“For me, having 8020 provide the structure took the anxiety out of my training and knowing whether I was doing the right things,” he reflects. Matthew is now applying the same methodology and sense of purpose to his next challenge, a 24-hour gravel race on October 8.