Power of Suggestion
I'm surrounded by athletes most of the time. If not in person, I connect with friends and aquaintences on-line regarding training, races, rehearsals, workouts, diet, and more on a several-times-daily basis. We offer suggestions to each other, ask questions to othe rmembers of our groups, and give each other props when someone accomplishes a personal goal. By the same token, when something goes terribly wrong, we offer support to each other to help ourselves get back on track.
It is really common to hear my athlete friends complain, however rarely, about 'bad' runs or workouts, injuries (mostly minor!) and what I'd call 'wardrobe malfunctions' while on the race course or on the training route. It can be hard to hold my tongue when I am convinced that I know the answer to someone else's training problems...especially if I have experienced similar symptoms. Are you cramping up? Drink more water and stretch more. Too tired? Get some sunlight, drink more water, and eat more veggies. Feet/shins/shoulders/etc hurt? Try yoga. I think I've got it all figured out, but then I remember that just like I know my body really, really well and what it needs and doesn't need, these other athletes probably know just as much about themselves.
It's tough to offer advice and keep my suggestions friendly while relaying info that they might not have heard yet. And the bottom line is we humans have a hard time learning stuff as adults, so we tend to keep doing the thing until it blows up in our faces- then we can have that 'aha!' moment, go back and do the research, and change old habits. I know I learn best, especially when it comes to my physical endurance, by experience first-hand.