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Rules of Thumb: Track Etiquette
CREATED: 03/27/12 by ncrcoach REPLIES: 5
ncrcoach's ravatar ncrcoach    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1028
Rules of Thumb: Track Etiquette
POSTED: 3/27/12 10:30 AM

Seeing the bike/run rules of thumb I figured that I should post this especially since the warmer weather brings people to the track.

1. Always run in a counterclockwise direction.

2. Think of the track as your local highway: The fastest lane is to the left. Lane numbering starts at the innermost lane and goes up to 6 to 8 lanes. Lanes 1 and 2 are reserved for the fastest runners. Lanes 3 through 5 are generally for moderately fast runners, and the outermost lanes are for slow joggers, walkers or runners doing their warm-up or cool-down routines.

3. If a faster runner comes up behind you and wants to pass, they will say, "track." This is your cue to move to the right.

4. When passing someone, always give plenty of warning time. Say, "track," wait for them to move over, and continue in your lane.

5. Never stand on the track, especially in lanes 1 or 2. Always look both ways before crossing the track.

6. Always be aware of nearby runners. When you finish an interval, look over your shoulder and move to the right as you stop. If you move left you are more likely to get run over by another runner.

7. Don't use headphones. Your iPod is for non-track days.

8 If the track is not busy, it's usually acceptable to do warm-up drills in the outermost lanes. My team always does their warm-up and cool downs in the clockwise direction. Often this means you will be running back and forth on one straightaway. This is the only time it's OK to run in a clockwise direction. When in doubt, do your drills on the infield.

9. Don't allow pets or children to run freely on the track.

astolz1's ravatar astolz1    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 368
RE: Rules of Thumb: Track Etiquette
POSTED: 4/10/12 3:36 PM

Wanted to bumb this thread but also point out that the rules of track etiquette are not always consistent. As in most cases, SAFETY is the highest priority.
The track workouts I've been doing for years have a "Lane One Rule" which works well and is very different than rules 2, 3 and 4 above.
"When you are doing a repeat, no matter what your pace, stay firmly in Lane One, and hug the rail tight. Do not run two abreast or in other configurations that cause runners to occupy Lane Two. Do not move out into Lane Two to let faster runners pass. In case this is not clear, this rule is not, and cannot be, an option. The group is simply too big for people to individually decide in which lane they prefer to run. But read on for some qualifications."
Rules 5 thru 9 are the same.
Hope to see many of you at Washington & Lee and then Carpool tomorrow!
- Adam

DJohnston    JOINED: 1/20/12    POSTS: 9
RE: Rules of Thumb: Track Etiquette
POSTED: 4/10/12 4:25 PM

It's probably best to be familiar with both and follow the rules of the track or group you're working with.
That said, in my experience competing and coaching on the D-I level, I've always done the Lane One Rule that Adam described and had honestly never heard of Hugh's Rule 2-4 and 6. If you do Lane One Rule and always move to the left of the track when you finish, you are no longer on the track and you will never be in another runners way.
But I'm glad I know about both now.

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 682
RE: Rules of Thumb: Track Etiquette
POSTED: 4/10/12 4:37 PM

i remember hughs type of track ettiquette from high school workouts and sometimes some other organized track workouts.

the "lane one" rules i have never heard about ever but i have practiced them without knowning when at another track work out through the years, never heard the "official rules" of it but it made sense when doing it.

moral of the story, when going to a track workout that you are unfamiliar with ask around to see which one is prevelent or watch for a bit to see which is the ettiquette that is being used at that particular track workout or track when you go.

ncrcoach's ravatar ncrcoach    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1028
RE: Rules of Thumb: Track Etiquette
POSTED: 4/10/12 10:34 PM

Okay, a little more input.

Under rule 2 - some track post rules stating such. Generally, the faster runners or speed workouts should stay in lanes 1-2.

Under rule 3 - honestly after reading it again, if you want to get around someone just pass on the right.

Under rule 4 - if you at a track and happen to hear 'track' that means clear lanes 1-2. At my track practice last week one of my runners yelled 'Coach Harris watch out'. I then dunked down and cover my head because I thought a lacrosse ball was about to hit me. I had to remind him that if he said 'track' I would have cleared out of the way.

Rule 6 - actually, we always make it that we end each interval on the finish line. If you are in lane 1, then you should step off to the left onto the infield.

The main thing is to be courteous to other runners on the track. One group should not rule the track and intimidate others.

asovonick's ravatar asovonick    JOINED: 6/3/09    POSTS: 197
RE: Rules of Thumb: Track Etiquette
POSTED: 4/11/12 9:12 AM

My favorite rule: Don't be the slowest one out there.

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