Hard Work & Dedication v Nike’s Pro TurboSpeed Suit

As runners, we are fascinated by two things, running gear and milliseconds. Ok, so there are a few other things that we love, like Jaffa Cakes & roast potatoes, but I’ll save them for another day.

Nike Pro Turbo Suit

Every now and then I read something that compels me to put pen to paper. Today, is one such day. As Nike unveil their new high speed running suit in time for the London 2012 Olympics, I began to ponder a few thoughts. Can a running suit really make you run faster or is this just nonsense that Nike would have us believe to extract a few more pennies from our purse?

As avid readers will be aware, I’m currently on the path to (running) recovery. I’ve been using my Garmin to keep track of my rise back to some kind of form – ensuring that I run the same course to validate my results. I’ve seen my average time per mile reduced from 8:24m to 7:44. Although, I’m a little embarrassed to share this with you guys – I’m kinda proud that I’m on my way back and each run feels better than the last. See screenshot below for more statistics;

Back to the TurboSpeed suit. I understand how an item of clothing can make you more aerodynamic or help your skin breathe better. As a rule of thumb, someone running in a baggy jumper and jeans is likely to finish a race behind another in well, a TurboSuit & running shorts. But my problem is with the so called facts, or findings. Nike claim that the suit will shave 0.023 seconds from a 100m sprint.

You’ll have to excuse me for answering a question with another, but how can you calculate such a fractional margin and use it as fact. 0.023 seconds  is so marginal that it cannot be proclaimed statistical fact. In fact, if the same study were performed using different colour running shirts I imagine that a similar correlation would exist – and we all know that the colour of your shirt can’t have an impact on a finish time, or are Nike to have us believe this now? Red shirt anyone?

Sure I’ll be decked out in my running shorts and clima cool shirt next time I hit the hilly streets of Glebe, NSW – but there’s only one thing that’s gonna see me finish in the top 100 of the Sydney Marathon & that my friends is hard work & dedication.

Will you be rushing out to buy the Pro TurboSpeed suit providing it becomes commercially available? Do you believe that it could save you precious milliseconds or is this a marketing campaign gone too far?


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