At its very core, running is simple: you throw one foot in front of the other and then plod along. Things can get slightly more complicated when a lot of runners share the same space, such as at a running track or a big race. However, if you follow a few unwritten rules, you will have a smooth experience.
Don’t Run Side By Side
While yes, you might be running with a friend but during a race or on a busy trail, please make room for other runners. We all have to share the path, and nothing is more frustrating than having to go around 10 athletes running side by side.
When And How To Pass Someone
If you’re in a race or just out for a run in a very busy park, it’s quite usual to find yourself closing in on a person who’s running just a bit slower than you. Don’t run two or three steps behind a person who you just happened upon for more than a couple of seconds.
If you’re going to pass them by, make that choice and actually pass them. On the flip side, if they’re running faster than you and you’re using them as motivation (that old “pretend there’s an invisible rope and they’re pulling you forward” trick), hang back and do so from a respectful distance.
Run Counter Clockwise On The Track
The absolute most important rule to keep in mind is the direction to run: counter clockwise (or anti-clockwise). If the track is empty when you get there, you may be tempted to begin running in the direction which has the most allure at the moment, however always make a point of running counter clockwise. If everyone is already running clockwise when you arrive, it’s far better to join them in order to avoid collisions, but in general, counter clockwise is the best choice.
If You Choose To Use Music, Use Headphones
While the safest way to run is without music, if you decide to run with music, make sure you have headphones. We all have different music tastes, and no one wants to get stuck with your music. I’ve even run races where someone has an app shouting their paces out loud. No thank you, please keep that for your ears only.
Understand Which Side Of The Road To Run On
If you’re on a road that doesn’t have sidewalks, run on the right so that you’re facing on-coming traffic. This means that you’ll see the cars that are coming toward you as opposed to having them sneak up on you from behind. The exception is that you may move to the other side if it has better visibility around a blind curve. Safety first.
If You Run In The Dark Stay Lit Up
No one can protect you more than yourself. If you are running in all black, at night that’s just both dangerous and dumb. Be as safe as possible.
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