Rant About Track Etiquette

I'll start off by saying that when I googled track etiquette, I found all these rules that were actually pretty standard between tracks but completely unrelated to the kinds of tracks I run at. They seemed to be for high-traffic tracks where competitive people go. I use a small town school track, so the rules don't really apply.

My rant is more of a common sense one, or at least I thought it was. I'm still getting used to running, so 2 of my 3 runs every week are done on a track. These are my main issues:

1. I'll show up, be the only person there or one of two or three people, and decide to take a clockwise day. Everybody knows the basic direction of running on the track is counterclockwise, but it helps you balance out the stress you put on each leg (going through the corners) if every other run, you swap out directions. So I pick a lane that isn't being used, and start running. Then, other people will show up, get in my lane, and go the "right" direction, and expect that I'm going to move. And I'm not. I will run straight through them. I was there first, there were plenty of other lanes to pick, and they were being rude for purposefully choosing to be in my way.

2. People who get in my lane, period. There are 8 lanes at the track I use, and very rarely are there ever 8 people there to use those lanes. In fact, it's never happened while I've been there. So when I'm in the middle of a 35 minute run and new people arrive, see me running in lane 3, and purposefully get in lane 3 to walk, that is rude and I'm going to be very annoyed at them and not show them much if any courtesy. I have run within an inch of people walking in my lane before, and they get all startled and glare at me. I don't give a single ****. I'm giving everything I have just to keep going, and I'm not going to expend extra energy to go around you because you decided to show up and saunter around the track in an already-occupied lane.

3. People who walk across the lanes slowly. Many times, this is done by families with babies. They show up with Jr. who is barely able to walk and they want to have a nice family stroll around the track. For one, why are you going to the track for this?? We have parks. But even that aside, I don't mind them being there as long as they don't show up and take 3 minutes to walk Jr. across the track to lane 1, thus blocking every runner trying to get through. This happens a lot at my track for some reason, and the other day it got a bit dangerous. I actually changed paths to go to the left of dad and baby, and then dad and baby decided to go hard left, almost causing me to run over Jr. I had to careen off to the right and nearly ran into mom and grandma, who luckily ducked aside and let me through. WTF people?? Are you completely oblivious to the 3 other people using this track right now? Get with it.

So uh, as you can see, I don't have much patience for people who don't give consideration to others while using the track. I don't really see it as an incredibly difficult thing to give others, especially those working out harder/faster than you are, their space. Do you guys deal with anything like this, or am I the only one who feels like a grumpalump after leaving the track many days? xD
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Replies

  • ThickMcRunFast
    ThickMcRunFast Posts: 22,511 Member
    I only use a track for sprint intervals. Do people really bring babies in strollers there? Seems like the worst place ever to take a kid. I notice that people break the speed rules all the time. Since I'm doing sprints, I will always take one of the inside lanes, and hate when I have to run around a jogger who should be in lane 8.
  • Otrogen
    Otrogen Posts: 65
    I only use a track for sprint intervals. Do people really bring babies in strollers there? Seems like the worst place ever to take a kid. I notice that people break the speed rules all the time. Since I'm doing sprints, I will always take one of the inside lanes, and hate when I have to run around a jogger who should be in lane 8.

    I actually forgot that one but yes it happens all the time. And they invariably want to be in lanes 1-3, even though those are the most worn down lanes due to heavy use. In point three of my original post, they were actually holding the baby's hands and walking him across all the lanes to the inner field, and many parents will show up and walk around the track all linked together like that.
  • jdm_taco
    jdm_taco Posts: 999 Member
    I would think when others show up its time to run in the correct direction...
  • scottb81
    scottb81 Posts: 2,538 Member
    I just run around people who are in the way. It's not a race and it doesn't change the workout at all. Not worth getting upset about.
  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,178 Member
    I only use a track for sprint intervals. Do people really bring babies in strollers there? Seems like the worst place ever to take a kid. I notice that people break the speed rules all the time. Since I'm doing sprints, I will always take one of the inside lanes, and hate when I have to run around a jogger who should be in lane 8.


    This.
    But where I am track etiquette is non existent. The head of our running clubs goes over it for members but the general public who all use it have no idea. The idea here is inside of the track is for walkers. We only have one track with actual lanes.
    Our running club has a track workout every Tuesday. Everyone is patient with the walkers but we got yelled a one night for "whizzing by" an old lady.
  • michellekicks
    michellekicks Posts: 3,624 Member
    I would think when others show up its time to run in the correct direction...

    ^ This.

    Walkers should always be in lane 8. Joggers... maybe 7 or 8 if there are no walkers. Fast track work? Grab yourself lane 1 or 2 if available... but honestly the direction thing is big. Many tracks are just counter-clockwise all the time. If you're going the other way, you should be certain you're the one avoiding everyone going in the correct direction.
  • Rogus1
    Rogus1 Posts: 60 Member
    I was on the one way street first. Everybody else needs to get out of my way!!
  • you gotta be kidding me
    just run around them
    no one cares about your olympic aspirations
    they dont care what lane theyre in
    they just want to get some exercise
    just because you take the track serious doesnt mean they should to
    most ppl just see it as a place to walk/run
    who cares about lane assignments?
    you cant even run around them... because why again?
    you make it seem like there is no space on the track to squeeze through
    like 10 ppl are abreast on the track haha
    i like weaving around ppl, works on my agility
    bottom line: public parks, trails, tracks arent ruled by you
    be ready to make some sacrifices. thats just the way it works.
  • PJ64
    PJ64 Posts: 866 Member
    I would think when others show up its time to run in the correct direction...

    But She was there FIRST!:sad:
  • JUDDDing
    JUDDDing Posts: 1,387 Member
    You have an amazing sense of entitlement! :drinker:
  • JUDDDing
    JUDDDing Posts: 1,387 Member
    Fast track work? Grab yourself lane 1 or 2 if available...

    A lot of tracks (schools, stadiums, etc) prefer that you avoid lanes 1 and 2 to balance the wear to their track (with official users wearing those lanes much more than the others.)
  • oldandhealthier
    oldandhealthier Posts: 449 Member
    Wow I had no idea there were established rules for using a track like I imagine most people would not. I am glad I read this because I would hate to run into some one as hostile as the OP.:cry:
  • navyrigger46
    navyrigger46 Posts: 1,301 Member
    you gotta be kidding me
    just run around them
    no one cares about your olympic aspirations
    they dont care what lane theyre in
    they just want to get some exercise
    just because you take the track serious doesnt mean they should to
    most ppl just see it as a place to walk/run
    who cares about lane assignments?
    you cant even run around them... because why again?
    you make it seem like there is no space on the track to squeeze through
    like 10 ppl are abreast on the track haha
    i like weaving around ppl, works on my agility
    bottom line: public parks, trails, tracks arent ruled by you
    be ready to make some sacrifices. thats just the way it works.

    This, and only this. Track etiquette at a public school? Give me a break.

    ETA: I suppose as a swimmer, if I'm the first one in the pool, and I decide I want to swim North-South, even though the lanes run East-West, I should just do it, and everyone else can deal with it since I was there first, eh?

    Rigger
  • michellekicks
    michellekicks Posts: 3,624 Member
    Fast track work? Grab yourself lane 1 or 2 if available...

    A lot of tracks (schools, stadiums, etc) prefer that you avoid lanes 1 and 2 to balance the wear to their track (with official users wearing those lanes much more than the others.)

    Agreed. I'm talking about a community track, though... like at a publicly funded rec centre.
  • grentea
    grentea Posts: 95 Member
    You will probably just have to deal with it. A lot of people are in their own worlds and are not aware of things like track etiquette. I have had the same issue jogging in the park, but with two women pushing strollers side by side, with dogs on leashes and little kids riding a bike. Or there are people who will run past me and then they will start walking, and I'll pass them and two seconds later they run past and they are in front of me again walking. Some people are oblivious to what is going on around them. The only way to avoid it is to go first thing in the morning or go to the gym.
  • ThickMcRunFast
    ThickMcRunFast Posts: 22,511 Member
    you gotta be kidding me
    just run around them
    no one cares about your olympic aspirations
    they dont care what lane theyre in
    they just want to get some exercise
    just because you take the track serious doesnt mean they should to
    most ppl just see it as a place to walk/run
    who cares about lane assignments?
    you cant even run around them... because why again?
    you make it seem like there is no space on the track to squeeze through
    like 10 ppl are abreast on the track haha
    i like weaving around ppl, works on my agility
    bottom line: public parks, trails, tracks arent ruled by you
    be ready to make some sacrifices. thats just the way it works.

    Its not like these are hard rules and the track police will come get you if you don't follow them, its just common courtesy. Being the walker on the inside lane is like being the guy at the gym who doesn't wipe down his equipment. Don't be that guy.
  • AlongCame_Molly
    AlongCame_Molly Posts: 2,835 Member
    You sound like a real joy to be around.
  • wolfchild59
    wolfchild59 Posts: 2,608 Member
    I've coached three people through Couch to 5K at a local track and can't even begin to imagine the idea of one lane per person. even when at the track later in the evening, in the rain, I've never seen fewer than a dozen people on the track.

    Usually we are out there with 30 or so people all sharing the track at the same time. Some nights there are classes of people out there that are 15 people just from that one class, plus all the of the people that are there on their own.

    There are sprinters, walkers, moms with strollers, joggers, interval folks, people that run backwards (counter-clockwise, but facing backwards), people that run sideways (again, counter-clockwise, but not facing foward) and steady runners at all paces. Guess what, we all manage just fine all over the track. The only rules that are followed are the slower you are, the further you go to the outside lanes. But if there is someone in front you while running that is going slower, you just go around them.

    You should be extremely thankful and grateful that you have the pleasure to run on a track that has so few people on it to begin with and that, if you come up on someone in "your" lane that there likely isn't going to be anyone else on either side of them to stop you from easily going around them. And that you have the space and freedom to run clockwise around the track at all. If someone tried to do that on my local track it would be like someone running the wrong way in a race.
  • guessrs
    guessrs Posts: 358 Member
    Op thanks for bringing this up. I'm the kindest person to be around but when an eighty year old with a cane gets in my lane 1 when I'm timing my fast run, I go crazy mad. There are 8 comfy lanes, hello? It's so annoying, I go out of my skin.
  • MelodyandBarbells
    MelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,638 Member
    If this is a standard 400m track, how can you tell what lane somebody is on, way on the other side of the track?