Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Track Etiquette 101

Last night, I did my usual speedwork at a local track and couldn't help but notice there were several people who seemed to not understand basic track etiquette. So, while I ran my cooldown, I contemplated this issue. The result? A track rules blog post!

Hart Park - my favorite track!

When at the track . . .

Laps are run counterclockwise. Occasionally there are exceptions to this rule - so when you arrive at the track, observe the other runners and see what direction they are running.

Do not put your spike bag, bottle of water, sweatshirt, etc. in the middle of a lane. Store your personal items off to the side or on the bleachers.

Use the correct lane. No one else on the track cares how slow or fast you run. However,  if you are a slower runner or walker, do not run/walk in lanes 1 or 2. You should stick to the outer lanes and reserve the inner ones for people who are running faster and/or doing speedwork. 

Move to the right if you hear someone behind you yelling "track" or "left". You are about to be passed and need to move out of the way. 

Leave your iPod at home. I know a lot of you will probably disagree with me on this one, but music makes a runner less aware of his or her surroundings - and less likely to hear a passing runner yelling "track" or "left". For example, last night there were several slower runners/walkers using Lanes 1 and 2 and with their iPods cranked up, they were completely oblivious to other people trying to do speedwork. Super rude, not to mention dangerous. 

Don't have a conversation on the middle of the track. By all means, take a few minutes to catch up with a running buddy. But do it on the side of the track, not in the middle of a lane. 

Keep your kids under control. I think it's great to see kids enjoying running and doing laps on the track. However, parents need to make sure their kids are not disrupting other runners. Also, this should go without saying, but do not allow them to bring a ball to kick around on the track.

Friends, I'd love to hear from you on this topic: What track rules would you add to the list?

Happy Running, everyone!

- ST

8 comments:

  1. I *love* etiquette posts because I really do think many people aren't trying to be jerks - they just don't realize what they're doing.

    Some of these, though, just seem so obvious to me - of course you wouldn't leave your things sitting in a lane! :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Alex - I think most of the time people just don't know any better. I like to give the benefit of doubt :)

      Delete
  2. I don't run at a track but I think a lot of these principles can apply to cycling as well! I hate it when people don't follow etiquette rules. They are there for a reason!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed - some things are just common sense!

      Delete
  3. This is great. I honestly don't know track etiquette because I never ran track formerly, but I do want to attend more of the track workouts at my local running club. This will help a lot, even though I hate having to leave my music at home :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Track workouts tend to go by so fast you might not even notice you don't have your music :)

      Delete
  4. A small point Sun, if we are on the track at our club, Tipton Harriers, we can only train in lanes 2 to 8. racing is different of course, but to train in lane 1 is a bit of a no no.
    Also a great fan of ipod, but never to should be seen on a track, far too dangerous. bad enough that they are allowed in races at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point about the lanes - runners should always pay attention to their track's lane rules!

      Delete