One thing that I’ve noticed over the course of my running career that everyone doesn’t normally think about while running is runners etiquette. There’s such a thing called runners etiquette you may ask? I’d like to believe so. Now i’m not saying that this is “the Law” and everyone has to follow it, but it’s more of common courtesy while running. Below is a list of examples of running etiquette that all runner should be aware of.
1. Actions speak louder than words
Let’s face it, when you’re in the zone running and you have your music set to your favorite track, the last thing you want to do is say “Hey” or “How’s it going?” to a fellow runner. I mean, who wants to speak when they are breathing heavily trying to get their run in for the day? And even if you wanted to say something, it may come out as a grunt or a growl. The issue with this scenario is that you really don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to. A simple head nod or even a wave will suffice. This simple acknowledgement lets other runners know that you are aware of them and simply greeting them as if you were good friends. It’s all about sharing the love for the sport and knowing that there is someone else that had the same idea of running as you.
2. Out of sight, out of mind
Not to sound too gross, but there are some bodily fluids that can’t be controlled while running, like sweat. We all sweat and it’s especially heavy in warmer weather. There are also the controllable “projectiles” that seem to always be around us. The two that come to mind are “’snot rockets” and spitting. We all understand that if you have something in your nose there’s a proper way to get it out, but not everyone carries tissues while running. Some runners’ solution is blowing out of one nostril as hard as you can causing the booger to dislodge like a rocket. It’s gross, but sometimes you need it gone which is understandable. Same thing applies to spitting. You don’t want to swallow mucus that happened to make it’s way from your nose to your mouth so you do what is natural, you launch that sucker. The only problem with this is, not everyone wants to see that. I get it though, but it’s something that needs to be taken care of. If you happen to have one of these issues, try doing it a little more inconspicuously unless the people you’re running with don’t mind it.
3. Use your noggin
Most people would think that everyone uses common sense while running. I mean we are pedestrians and should follow the same rules and regulations, right? I know that sometimes runners tend to run in the street, and I’ll admit that I do it 80% of the time. It’s easier than the sidewalk where you could possibly run into a fire hydrant like me, more on that later. There are also times when there is no sidewalk forcing you to run in the street. This is not an issue at all as long as you’re hugging the edge of the street and not sprinting down the center of the lane. Also, if you’re running in the street, you should be running against traffic so you can see what’s in front of you. There have been numerous times where I would run with traffic with my headphones on and a car would sneak up behind me. What if I had tripped and fell? I wouldn’t have seen the car. Luckily my music wasn’t loud so I could hear the traffic. It’s also a good idea to look both ways before crossing the street too. I mean, is it really a good idea to bolt out into the middle of the street to continue your pace without stopping? I’m going to go ahead and say no, it’s not. Use your noggin runners, we’re not invincible.
One thing that I notice the most while running a race or even on trails is when people decide to walk or run more than 2 abreast (side by side). I understand that you want to hold conversation with each other, but there has to be a limit. Don’t be that group and create a roadblock for everyone else. In doing so, you force people to go around you potentially going off course which could lead to injury. If you’re running a race and this occurs, this roadblock could cost you time and no one wants that. Share the path and be courteous to fellow runners. Keep it to single file or 2 wide.
5. Walk it out
Sometimes people need to walk during a race because they are injured or just need to take a breath, which there is nothing wrong with that at all. Where the real problem lies is that in doing so, people stop and walk right in the middle of the course. If there is someone running right behind you this could lead to a collision. It’s frustrating when this happens, but it always does. Instead of stopping right in the middle of the pathway, try to make your way over to one side of the course. This way you have a chance to get out-of-the-way of the people behind you so they can avoid dodging you and still keep their pace. Walking in the middle of the course is another type of roadblock as noted above. If you had enough energy to make it that distance, you should have enough energy to move over a little bit.