8 Jul

Running Etiquette

2 Parkrunners

No coach will teach you about it. You won't find anything about it in any training manuals and yet it remains an area of concern for most runners. So what are the basics of running etiquette?

It is something we all have to confront at some point - how to greet other runners. You know the situation, there you are pounding along the road and you see another runner approaching in the opposite direction.

Do you acknowledge them? How? Some particularly jaunty runners go for the full toothy smile and accompanying wave of the hand. Others simply steam on past you as if you were not there, not even making eye contact.

It's as if they want to avoid any possible distraction from their training session. They are in the zone and haven't got time for the niceties in life. Me? After experimenting with both extremes, I have settled on a smile and a polite and respectful nod to my fellow runner. It works for me.

That way, the enthusiastic runner won't feel shunned, nor will I feel embarrassed by my over-the-top greeting should I be blanked by Mr Intensity. I think every runner deserves some level of acknowledgement from their fellow runners.

Dog owners out for their morning stroll with their canine companions will often stop for a chat about their four legged friends with similar strangers. Owners of quirky cars like Morris Minors will keenly flash their lights at one another as they bypass on opposite sides of the road.

I wouldn't bracket runners among the most eccentric of sub-cultures. But when you think about it, there is something a little abnormal about grown men and women putting on shorts and t-shirts and heading outside simply to run around.

Runners at all levels share some sort of unspoken bond, no matter whether they are targeting their first ever Fun Run or a GB athlete. At every level, we have all felt a little pain, thought about quitting and felt the high of achieving a goal.

So next time you are out and about, give your fellow runner some proper acknowledgement - they know you better than you might think.


  1. John McMonagle said...

    Totally agree, hillwalkers,cyclists, all acknowledge each other, so shouldn't be different for runners. I know if I'm pushing it, then a cheery smile, or wave, certainly picks you up.
  2. Steve P said...

    Interesting article...However furthermore what etiquette should be used when approaching and passing a slower runner when going the same direction as you??