Do you remember the excitement of new shoes as a child? The best part about getting a new pair of shoes, whether they were Pro Keds canvass basketball shoes, name brand tennis shoes, or totally off brand beaters was how they improved speed. And don't sit there acting like you were above such nonsense. Everybody knows that new shoes make kids faster. *Note - New shoes don't always make adults faster. We're more concerned with "same speed, less damage."
One weekend, I was allowed to go camping with one of my best friends. His dad, whom we referred to as Stay Puff (yes, that Stay Puff), was shocked to find out that the only shoes I had along were my everyday sneakers. Gruff as he usually was, he was concerned that I might ruin my shoes on the camping trip. So, we made a trip to the local "get everything here" store so we could pick up a pair of shoes that could be destroyed. They were cheapies. We're talking dirt cheap. But that didn't stop me from KNOWING those shoes made me a better, faster runner during that weekend. And I wore them most of the summer for that very reason.
Today, my son carries on the tradition. Any time we get new shoes, he has to run in the store. He will pick out different pairs and run up and down the aisle. Once he has determined which pair make him fastest, he is satisfied. If we buy a second pair of shoes, he will point out that the second pair is for walking. HIS pair is the fast pair.
This morning, I felt like a little kid, again. Last night, my order of new Orca Race tri shorts arrived. Made of Aqua Glide fabric, the shorts amazed me when I took my pre-swim shower. The water just beaded up and ran off the shorts. I sat at the edge of the pool dumping handfuls of water on them, and marveled at the hydrodynamic qualities and considering how well the shorts must slip through the water. "Wow," I thought, "I'm going to love these things, 'cause their fast."
And whether actually a function of the shorts or just a placebo effect pushing me to do well, I was faster. I swam 10x100 with a form/speed focus on alternate 100s. On each of the speed intervals, I swam well under two minutes. Given that I rarely go under two even on the very first 100, the performance was unexpected. It seems that some "go fast" items DO work on adults.