So, you’re getting ready to do a track workout, but you know that there’s gonna be a lot of people there. Or maybe there’s one person that always shows up and you don’t know what to do because they’re a little bit faster than you. Well, I’m Jesse Funk and on today’s episode of Runner’s High, we’re going to talk about track etiquette.
If you weren’t in competitive track in school, whether it be middle school, high school, college, then you may not know there are some basic rules that we call track etiquette. Now, the general public seems to be completely unaware of these. So, some of these, kind of take with a grain of salt.
I’ll give you my kind of track etiquette rules I learned as I went through my running years like I said, all the way from middle school through college But I’ll also give you some more practical tips when it comes to dealing with people who have no idea what’s going on.
So, the general thing is here and I’ll guess I’ll move over and look at the track here. If you are on the innermost lane, and somebody is coming up behind you, and they’re faster than you, then move out to the right. Don’t move inward, please don’t stay in the lane and freeze, move out to the right.
Now, if you are driving in the US or any other country that drives on the right side of the road, this is going to be a familiar kind of tactic to you. The fastest person goes to the left, which on the track happens to be the inside most lane.
So, you can think about it like traffic, slow to the right, fast to the left. If you’re a camper that likes to stay in the left lane, even though you’re slow, then this is the opportunity for the fast people to get their revenge. And I will admit I’ve been one of those people, at least in college, not to just a random passerby on the track like at a public kind of place.
But say somebody from another sport who is in the way deliberately during our practice, I have been known to knock people over. Now, that is in my younger years, I have chilled out a little bit since then.
So, keep in mind that when the faster person behind you is coming up, really the track etiquette thing to do is to say ‘track’ and let people know hey, there’s somebody behind you. I’m approaching please move out of the way. Now, this can come in the form of yelling ‘track’ or yelling really loudly, ‘track’, which might startle people. But don’t worry about that. That doesn’t happen very often. That is really more like an in school kind of thing.
As I’ve gone into general public and people have no idea what that means, it just kind of freaks them out. I got to the point where I just didn’t say anything. I would just run around people. They don’t even know that you’re there. So, if you are the faster person, you kind of just have to kind of go with the flow and realize that the general public has no idea what you’re doing.
Just calm down, you aren’t going to eat a couple seconds kind of going around them, but know that they’re probably going to stay in place.
Now, if you are the slower person in the general population, please, if you know somebody, they’re doing intervals and there’s faster than you, move out to lane two, or three or four, somewhere out of the way. Even if they’re starting and stopping, it’s just easier for them to know, hey, I’ve got this lane.
Now the easiest thing to do, so my last tip, if you have the opportunity, when you arrive to the track, say, “Hey, I’m going to be running intervals. Is it cool? Is it okay? If I take lane one? I’m going to be doing this here for the next 30 minutes, 60 minutes”, whatever your animal time is. Just so they have a heads up.
Communication is really key. Those shorthands, like we say, ‘track’ really loud, is an easy way for people in track to know, hey, move out of the way. Otherwise, communicating like a normal person just saying, Hey, this is what I’m doing. I’m here, please stay out of the way so I don’t run into you, you don’t run into me.
Everybody has a good time. That’s the basics of it. So, are there any track etiquette things that I missed for the general public? Please let me know down in the comments, share them with the other runners that are watching this video. I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.