Running on a track isn’t as easy as it may seem. There are some very specific rules and guidelines to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for yourself and others. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned runner, here are four essential aspects of track etiquette to help you navigate the oval in style and respect.
Read the rules
Before starting your run or workout, take a moment to familiarize yourself with any specific track rules or regulations posted at the facility. These rules may cover lane usage, permissible footwear, designated running directions and specific hours of operation. The last thing you want is to inadvertently upset other runners or athletes by running in the wrong direction or sprinting in the designated walking lane.
find your lane
When running on the track, there are typically designated lanes for intended use. If you are on an eight-lane track, the inside three lanes are for runners doing workouts, while lanes four to six are for those jogging, warming up or doing drills. The two outside lanes are usually reserved for walkers, so they are given a significant amount of space and safety from runners. Try your best to stay in your lane, respect the flow of “track-fic” and avoid changing lanes frequently, to minimize collisions and disruptions.
Be mindful of your pace and find a lane that corresponds with your speed and workout. Faster runners typically occupy the inner lanes, while slower runners and walkers use the outer lanes. If you’re significantly slower than the runners behind you, the courteous thing to do is to move to an outside lane.
use your voice
If you want to pass another runner, the polite way to do it is by passing on their right side and letting them know you are approaching to avoid catching them off guard. Keep it brief and call out “on your right” to alert the runner you are passing. When you are being passed, maintain your pace and make room for the faster runner to move ahead. Remember, it’s all about mutual respect and prioritizing everyone’s safety.
Paying attention to your surroundings is also crucial to avoid collisions or injuries. Avoid distractions such as headphones or excessive phone use, as they can impair your awareness of other runners.
Remember, the track is a harmonious environment for runners of all levels. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to confidently and respectfully navigate the track, making your running experience more enjoyable while fostering a positive atmosphere for others. Now is the time to lace up your shoes, hit the athletics oval with confidence, and enjoy everything track running has to offer.