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Running etiquette

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Humans have been running since prehistoric times to hunt for food or run away from being food. So running has a tendency to turn back time and transform you into a cave man if you don’t follow basic rules of running etiquette (as long as you don’t run solo). Anything from a couple of friends running for fun to a few thousand runners running together in a marathon it is much appreciated if you follow some basic rules from overtaking, listening to music to spitting and farting.

There are three main running setting, road, track or trail. I’d safely say a track is the most controlled environment so rules are stricter and runners should be polite and follow certain rules set by the track. Since it is an organised environment there should be toilets and changing rooms so any nature call should take place where it is planned. Running around the track you should always be aware of teams and athletes training, faster runners and casual runners. All must coexist so choosing the right lane is critical. Be civilised and you will always be welcome.

Road and trail running can be more relaxed since usually you are alone so spitting, braking wind or the occasional nature call are all aloud. And if the trail is scenic let the caveman run wild and enjoy the run!

Spitting: sometimes unavoidable so when you do it be aware of you surrounding and of fellow runners since you wont be very popular by spitting high up in the air.

Nature calls 1 & 2: Again unavoidable especially in longer distances and in races (time & stress can be killers). In larger events there can be toilets available but usually there aren’t enough or they won’t be the first choice for obvious reasons. The larger the event the less people will care, just try to be discreet, move to the side of the road and be quick. Most people will just  feel your pain, shame and ignore you.

Braking wind: If it has to come out, deny till you die or just be brave and take responsibility of your actions. Not much harm caused but certainly not pleasant.

Overtaking: Run around the slower runner, not over then, no pushing is acceptable nor blocking the way to faster runners.

Listening to music: listening to music can be fun, but be aware of your surroundings and do not hog the road and especially the trail.

Impromptu shower: It can get hot while running but no one wants to share your water bottle shower.

Garbage: If running in a track do not chuck you junk on the track. The same holds if you run alone on the road/trail. If in an organised event it can be tolerated since in theory people will follow and collect all the garbage created from the event. But again if it doesn’t feel right try to hold on, or find the best spot to unload your wrappers and bottles.

Chucking bottles: Just be careful, aim low and away from upcoming runners. Its a running event, not the NBA.

These are the basic rules from my running experience and years of evolution, but you will never stop to be amazed….


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