Welcome to another edition of Running A-to-Z where each week I cover a running-related topic following the order of the alphabet. If you missed any past Running A-to-Z posts you can catch up on letters A-S in the archives. (Only 6 more letters 'til the end of the alphabet! It's been a fun 20 weeks so far!)
This week we are on letter T. T is for track etiquette. The track can be a confusing and intimidating place for new runners, but it doesn't have to be that way. If you just follow a few basic rules of the road...err...track, you'll fit in a like a pro.
Warm up stretches or non-running exercises should be done off of the track lanes.
Stay off the grass or field in the middle of the track.
Always run counterclockwise.
The inside lanes are for faster runners. The lanes to the right are for the slower runners and walkers. Always move to the right if there are faster runners than you on the track.
Always be aware of runners around you when you are starting and stopping.
It is nice to have a running partner or two, but do not run more than two people abreast (side by side) so you aren’t blocking other runners from getting by.
Move to the right if you hear someone calling out "on your left". This means that a runner is coming up on your left to pass you. Probably best to leave the headphones at home so you can hear someone calling out to you.
Do not stand, stretch or chat on the track.
Leave your phone at home or in the car. No texting, talking or scrolling while running or walking on the track.
Always be respectful of other runners, the community and the property. Throw away any used water bottles or litter left on the track or surrounding areas (even if it is not yours).
Got it? Good. The track is a great place for speed work, intervals or laps on a flat, spongy, soft surface that is easier on the joints than concrete or asphalt. Once you learn basic track etiquette, you'll fit in with the some of most dedicated runners in your town.
Stay tuned for Workout Wednesday this week where I will share a track workout you can do to increase your speed.
Have questions? Leave them in the comments or be a part of my new series "Ask the Trainer" and have your questions answered in a future blog post.
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I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help.
While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.