The rules of running around track everyone needs to know

By Ea Francisco

If running out on the open road isn’t an option for you, there’s always the local race track. Running on the track is actually a lot better if you’re working with a specific training program. You have to remember that you’re not the only one using it though. Here are some of the basic running etiquettes to make sure everyone enjoys the track.

Pass on the right

The general rule to running track is that you’re supposed to run counterclockwise. If you’re following that, then you should overtake people on their right side. If you’re running clockwise, you should pass on the left. Remember to signal the person or give an indication that you’re going to pass them. In the same sense, it’s best to keep to your left, or right if you’re going clockwise, so that other people can easily pass you.

Run on the correct lane

Usually, inner lanes are reserved for the fastest runners or the ones doing speed workouts. The outer lanes are generally for more casual runners and for those who are warming up or cooling down. Choose which lane you’re going and stick to it. Sometimes you can find competitive runners and sprinters training in the inner lane.

Mind your own lane

The lanes on the track are there for a reason, so make sure that you don’t be a bother to other runners. Make sure to run straight and not needlessly switch between lanes. If you decide that you’re better on another lane, signal runners so that you won’t accidentally bump into them as you move. In the same sense, bring your dogs to the track only if you can manage it. For those running with a group, don’t take up more than two runners abreast so that your group isn’t blocking the track and people can overtake you.

Keep one ear open

If you’re planning on bringing music with you, make sure to have one ear open or keep it low. Similar to running on the road, this is so you can hear your surroundings. It would be very unsafe to have yourself completely tuned out with a bunch of people running on different times on your lane.

Don’t do impromptu races

The setup of a track field makes it very tempting not to compete, but running on adjacent lanes is not an invitation to challenge. Different people have different training regimes while on the track, and it’s easy to misinterpret other runners going fast as a sign to race. However, they are likely just doing a certain kind of workout, and having a stranger suddenly going after them could be very distracting.

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