***Editor’s Note: There will be no individual Fitness Journey story today. Please let me know if you have a story to share by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org ***
If you are an avid runner, at some point you probably have run with a group or entered an organized race. Running with others is great for accountability and motivation. However, there needs to be some rules of etiquette when it comes to sharing the course, path, road, or sidewalk with others. Here are some tips that may help you and others in the future.
Using a Narrow Trail or Path
At many events or even in parks, runners and walkers will utilize a narrow path. It is so important to be aware of your surroundings and to NOT block the trail for others. If you and your running buddy are running side by side and someone wants to pass, please allow that runner to pass. There is nothing more frustrating than being out for a fast pace run and having to slow down and try to maneuver past a group of people “chatting” who have no idea that you are there. Many will use the phrases “on the right” or “on the left,” to let others know that they are trying to get through. Be aware, be courteous, and let others pass safely.
Know your Pace
Another pet peeve of the faster crowd of runners is those that don’t know their pace. If you run a 5k in about 20 minutes, you should start at the front of the pack. If you are closer to 30-35, you should be middle of the pack. If you know that you are going to walk and most likely will finish in more than 40 minutes, please don’t start at the front of the pack. There is no shame in knowing what pace you are capable of running a race. Now younger runners will often start out quite quickly and some of them will finish quickly, but their quick starts can often be overcome by the more consistent runners. These young runners aren’t necessarily who this is directed at. This pacing instruction is mostly aimed at newer runners who haven’t got a clue. If it is your first run and in your training, you haven’t broken 30 minutes, please don’t start at the front of the pack. Again, be aware, be courteous, and let faster runners start in the front.
Now, you may think that I am going to say that strollers should start at the back and stay out of the way. You would be right and oh so very wrong. There are a ton of running groups and running individuals who train diligently while pushing a youngster in a stroller. I have seen some of the fastest run times come out of someone pushing a stroller. Please see the above etiquette guide. It’s all about knowing your pace. If you are breaking land speed records then please start up front. It will save you from having to run people over (see use of a narrow path/trail). However, if you are more of a walker than a runner with your stroller, please move to the back of the pack. No one needs to get hurt trying to maneuver around a stroller.
Ultimately, we all just need to be aware of others around us. Be courteous, know your pace, run safely, and or course have fun!