Running Etiquette


Had to Google the word ‘Etiquette’ just then, and was pleased that I spelt it right first time!

To start with, here’s an inspirational video for you to watch. Doesn’t make me want to buy anything new, but the message is a good one:

Other People – Runners

Sometimes on my run I pass people coming the other way. I was chuffed the other day because when I was running there was a runner on the opposite side of the road and when I looked over he nodded at me, so I nodded back. (He nodded first! I must look like I know what I’m doing!) This has happened a couple of times now, but I’m not sure what the proper action would be if I caught up to another runner or found another runner catching up to me. (Not caught anyone yet…)

Do you make conversation? (Hello! Sweaty? No, normally I just say Hello. Sorry. Goodbye.)

Ignore them? (Wish this sweaty git would bugger off.)

Try to race? (Eat my sweat!)

I have no idea. When it happens, it’ll probably just be a bit of awkward muttering before I let them past.

Other People – Non-Runners

When people are walking towards me as I’m running, they normally move to one side. (Old people are the best, they move, stop, make eye contact and then smile. Bless ’em.)

Chavs  Young people with pushchairs don’t move one way or the other, they have to get home and not do any work then shout at Fuschia and Chardantelle or what ever horrible name they gave them.

Young kids on bikes normally try race you as you go along, but they pretty much play in the road so not a problem. (For me.)

How do you go about approaching people that are aiming in the same direction as you though?

I think we should all get together and come up with a way of letting people know you’re coming up behind them without worrying/shouting at them. If you shouted a warning (like ‘on the left’) does ‘on the left’ mean for them to move to the left, or that you’re going to the left? Also, I don’t think that many people would appreciate (had to Google that too, got it wrong) someone running up behind them and shouting.

Mostly I’ve been able to nip off the pavement and pass them on the road, but there’s been a few times where there’s a load of cars parked next to you so you can’t get on the road, or there’s been a load of traffic so not a good idea. It puts me off of my stride and find myself having to walk when I didn’t want to. Inconsiderate public…

I normally just get quite close, because with the smell of sweat and sound of heavy breathing, they seem to move quick enough.

Might start carrying a horn. Ho-HONK!

12 thoughts on “Running Etiquette

  1. I usually greet other runners (and sometimes civilians) with “Good morning” or “Hi there”– or smile if I don’t feel like talking. I always smile at dogs out for a walk.

    If there’s a rangy group of people in front of me facing the same direction as me (say an adult, a kid all over the trail, and a dog doing dog things) I’ll call out “On your left/right” with lots of time to spare so the adult can react and the rangy bits can get gathered up and I can pass. Headphone-wearers are tough. And watch out for bikes, I try to look behind me before passing…

  2. I have been searching for that ‘Greatness’ commercial forever!! I love it.

  3. Just recently, I saw another competitive runner while out on my run (you can tell by their stride and pace, and in this case, he was wearing racing flats). We were in th middle of nowhere so I called out to him, “Are you a runner or a jogger?!” He responded, “I’m training for cross country!” I asked how far he was going, and it turns out we were going the same distance that morning.

    The other day, I saw a really good runner from our conference on the other side of the street. I called out his name (he’s a bit of a celebrity in this town) and even though he didn’t know me, all I had to say was that I ran for my school and that I had seen him at meets. He ran over with a big smile on his face and we chatted for a few minutes before continuing on. I have to say, I think runners are some of the most decent people in the world.

  4. I always acknowledge other runners and 95% of the time they are polite and respond back. It seems it’s only the hard core few that are too full of themselves to say hi (mind you I live in a town full of soldiers so we know how arrogant they can be!)

    It’s not just runners who say either, most dog walkers and people out pushing their children in prams usually at least nod or wave if I give them a welcoming look.

  5. I do what I can to pass as far away as I can. That is usually going to the other side of the road. I am with you about yelling right or left. I would hate to be a spotter at a car race I would tell the driver to go the wrong way. High or Low does that mean go high or there is a car high.

  6. I say “good morning,” “evening,” or just smile and nod to people I see when I run. Some people respond and some don’t. Cyclist are less likely to respond, but they are kind of focused on the road. I just run around people if I am passing them, but the areas I run in aren’t crowded. I don’t announce to anyone that I’m coming unless I am on the bike and it is a narrow path and then I say “on your left” meaning I am on going to pass them on their left.

  7. I like the horn idea. Generally if I’m coming up behind someone (walkers, I have never passed a runner) I don’t have any breath to yell or speak, so I just make my footfalls louder or cough or something dumb like that. People wearing headphones are the worst. No, people wearing headphones with a dog (or dogs) on a long leash are the worst. Happy honking!

  8. Oh this is always a huge pet peeve for me, at least the Inconsiderate boobs who have no consideration for anyone on the path, sidewalk or trail. As to oncoming runners/walkers/cyclists if eye contact is made a polite smile, head nod or hello is given just depends on my mood, how into my run I am in and if I get a vibe that they seem worthy 🙂 runners/walkers going the same way that you must pass. I just pass them without acknowledgement. The only time I make my presence known is if there is more than one person or if they are one of those path hoggers who is all over the place (not staying to one side). In that case I say “to the left/right” as I approach that side so they know that’s the side I mean. Unfortunately I live in a smaller area where path etiquette is not necessarily known or if it is it’s not adhered to (more so it’s just not known). So parents allow their spawn to run amuck, animal lovers allow their “children” to as well so you end up dodging them and their presents they leave in the middle of the path (it’s great) and the list goes on. I was sh

    • (oops it sent before I finished) I was shocked when I was told once that I was being rude for running on the path. I should be more considerate and run somewhere else like the road.

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