Monday, 23 February 2015


I was talking with a runner I know today, he used to race a lot, and from what i understand was fairly handy at it too.

He was lamenting a lack of elite Victorian talent at some racing over the weekend, and it lead to discussion about participation levels and youth drop off in running, that matched what I've seen in cycling.

The concept of elite performance requirements carried on later with the tiny Canadian, and the CrossFit games. How mental fortitude was a determining factor at the top.

I suppose what I'm getting at is a question. If elite performances is the goal of a sport, what is reasonable for the sport to do to deliver those? Is it reasonable to break more eggs to gain a higher level of performance? What if those eggs are the young? What if I somehow didn't break the metaphor just then?

The AIS and state ISs have a reputation for chewing up and spitting out talented kids. I kind of get why though, there are limited budgets, and very strong performance based incentives for the programs. If they don't deliver championship medals, they don't get funded. I have issues with that methodology, especially knowing several athletes that have been on the ugly side of those systems.

Some private teams such as Drapac strive to provide a more supportive environment, and nurture more multifaceted athletes/humans. I like this ideal, but there are some questions over the efficacy of their program (see here), which leaves me wondering if it's just possible white washing.

So, what's the answer? I don't think there can ever be a right answer, just one that is right for an individual, or at best, one that is right for a time/society. For me, I think there can/should be some broken eggs, but that those eggs need some post failure support. Shown how they can still participate, or how to find a new activity. If those additional costs mean less depth, or lower levels of elite performance, that is ok.

D: 8.4km
A: 34m

PMPW: 85kg

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