My friend was in Track and Field and decided to share with me a running superstition he shared with his teammates. He strongly believed that before a race he must eat ginger in order to perform well. It could be the day before the race at most, as long as it wasn’t longer than that.
He had heard of this superstition from a track and field athlete he had looked up to for a really long time. Since he admires this athlete, and they claimed it worked for them, he decided to try out this superstition for his future races. He said he noticed a difference, he was a bit faster and also not as winded/exhausted when he completed his races. This would not be the case when he did not eat ginger beforehand.
This superstition is almost like a lucky charm. He shared this with his teammates, and I think beliefs like these can be shared among other athletes as well and they may notice a difference in their own performances if they truly believe in the superstition.
I actually used to be a runner as well, and remember hearing random superstitions similar to this while I was on a team. I believe I have tried a couple out as well, and they have worked for me personally. I think that must be due to the placebo effect though, and not necessarily the power behind the superstition.