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058: Running Etiquette - What To Do in Those Awkward Situations

Oct 18, 2018


How can I be a better runner is a regular question for a coach, and we have spent many episodes discussing the mental and physical aspects of training.  In this episode, we take a very practical approach and cover some unwritten rules of running, what we call running etiquette.  

First, we should point out that all of these answers are open for discussion.  These opinions were formed under two very different introductions to running by two very different personalities, but the big takeaway from just about every lesson is to respect those around you.  

We start with some situations that arise when running solo, like:

  • What to do when you encounter another runner out on the road - should you wave? Say hi? Ignore them? and why the time of day might change your answer
  • How to handle the awkward situation of running a short loop in the opposite direction of another runner.  (Hey, it’s you again!)
  • What is the appropriate way to handle running with a pet?
  • What about running with a stroller?
  • Running etiquette with headphones? (Hint:  be courteous)
  • We also discuss what to do when you come across a pet, a stroller or someone lost in their own world wearing headphones.  

We then move to some clear rules to follow when training on a track:

  • While some tracks don’t ever want you using lanes one or two, we should all abide by the rule that faster runners go on the inside.  I know of one track near my house growing up that even had the distances actually run depending on which lane you were using posted on a big sign.  

Next, we slide into the world of running with others.  We discuss:  

  • How to get into a running group in the first place
  • The importance of being very welcoming to anyone looking to join your running crew
  • How are you supposed to run in an odd numbered group without someone feeling left out of the conversation?  
  • What is a one-stepper and why is it so frustrating to run with them?
  • Is it ok to spit or pass gas, and should you warn people?  

Finally, we discuss race etiquette.  We debate about:

  • What to wear to a race
  • Why most people in the race should not be standing on the starting line.  (To be fair, Angie’s opinions are strongly influenced by the complaints of her husband on these two issues.)
  • Why you should slide off to the side of the course if you are going to stop at a water station or start walking during a race.  

We had a great time putting this episode together and hope you can gain some insight, or at least a laugh or two out of the episode.  Remember, when in doubt, be kind to those around you as we are all part of the same running community.


Hope you enjoy it!! Let us know if you have any questions that you would like answered on our show!   

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