Running Track Etiquette Tips For Newbies

Photo: @tigertoes
Photo: @tigertoes

1. Run counterclockwise. Unless otherwise posted, run against the clock dial. Warm-ups and cool downs are sometimes done clockwise in the outer lanes.

2. Changing lanes, the track is like a highway

-Fastest on the left and slowest on the right. The inside lanes (1 and 2) are intended for folks doing speed work and running fastest. Recovery runs, warm-ups, and cool downs should be done on the outer lanes.

-If a faster runner is coming behind you, it’s customary for them to yell “track” or “on your left” to give you a heads up and let them pass.

-The outside lane is 40-50 meters longer than the inside lane. That’s why some races starts are staggered.

3. Space is at a premium. Try to run no more than two abreast when running in a group. Be aware of stray elbows (another reason to watch your form!). When you’re done an interval, move out of the lane in case a runner is coming from behind.

4. Leave the music at home. It’s important to be able to hear other runners, so if you’re going to listen to music-keep the volume low.

5. Recovery is key. Incorporate time at the end of the track workout for a cool down. Stopping abruptly is tough on the legs and the cardiovascular system.

6. Fuel up. Take in protein and carbs within 30 minutes of leaving the track. Commuting? Pack it with you.

7. Rock your lightest kicks. You don’t need track spikes, but wearing shoes less than 10 ounces will give you a boost come race day.

8. Numbers. Many outdoor tracks are 400M. About a mile is 1600M, or 4 times around the track. Half a mile is 800M.

9. Look “up track”. Just like crossing a street, look up the track for runners coming through.

10. Move drills & stretching to the infield. Use the field or track perimeter to chill, stretch, and hang.

Interested in more tips for runners?

 

 

Robin Arzon

Robin Arzon

A corporate lawyer turned fitness journalist and ultramarathoner. Prior to pursuing health and wellness, Robin graduated magna cum laude from New York University and Villanova University School of Law. She is also a RRCA certified running coach, NASM certified personal trainer, and Schwinn spin instructor. Robin is the founder and publisher of UNDO Magazine.
Robin Arzon

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About The Author

Robin Arzon

A corporate lawyer turned fitness journalist and ultramarathoner. Prior to pursuing health and wellness, Robin graduated magna cum laude from New York University and Villanova University School of Law. She is also a RRCA certified running coach, NASM certified personal trainer, and Schwinn spin instructor. Robin is the founder and publisher of UNDO Magazine.

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