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Runner Rules of the Road

Believe it or not, there are rules for just about everything when it comes to running. For someone just starting out, here’s the abridged version:

Snotty little rules -- because bodily functions are a fact of life even during a run. You’ll need to spit, blow your nose, and you might even need to make a pit stop. If you do, just remember to be courteous. Try and find a Porta Pot, move off to the side, and don’t ever spit into the wind!

Run against traffic. Run against traffic. Run against traffic. You have feet, not wheels; that’s how I remember. Why? So you can see and be seen by drivers. The only exception to running on the left is when you’re running on trails or paths, and then it’s run on the right. But that’s only because a trail is closed to vehicles.

Whether you’re running on a trail, on a road, or in a race, remember only to run two wide. It’s nice to chat away with your friends, I get it. But it’s not polite to take up the entire path, and it’s not safe to go any wider than two if you’re running on a road.

When you’re on a trail or canal path, be courteous to your fellow runners. If you’re coming up behind them, let them know! Shout “on your left” as you approach them. Or give a fake cough, letting them know you’re there.

I had a friend email me recently. He said that he feels uncomfortable coming up behind runners and doesn’t like to startle them, so he always shouts out, “Coming up on your left,” which would work out great … if the runner doesn’t have both earphones in.

Earphones. Let’s talk about earphones. I run with music. I like to run with music; it boosts my energy level. But it’s unsafe to have both earphones in. You can’t hear approaching runners, approaching vehicles, or even animals. So try running with just one earphone in; you’ll be surprised at what you hear.

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