Running Etiquette from “Run The Edge” Blog

I found this cool blog by Adam Goucher (Kara Goucher’s husband) and Tim Catalano dubbed Run The Edge. It is primarily utilized to showcase their new book “Running The Edge,” which I plan on ordering in the next few days. Once I do, I will write a book review on it to share with you.

However, in this post I’ll focus on a specific blog post. What first got my attention on their blog was a piece on Running Etiquette. As a runner, I thought it was both relatable and funny, so I wanted to share it here. It’s all about the rules of the road and provides us runners with directions on the “correct” way to handle some decisions that we face everyday, including: Should you smile, wave, say hello to the passing runner? Should you stop at the light and wait for the white sign to say cross? And so on.

Here is one of my favorite tips in the blog: 

Case #1: To Wave or Not To Wave

Are runners required to be friendly and personable on a run, or do they have a right to be in their own worlds, ignoring everyone else?

Prosecution: Runners should be friendly to each other. We all share the roads and trails. A simple hello or a smile with the wave of a hand can go a long way in contributing to a more friendly running community.

Defense: Sometimes runners are “in the zone” or running so close to their threshold that even a smile might put them over the edge. A runner in the middle of a hard workout, or just choosing to be alone with their thoughts, deserves a free pass on the wave and hello.

Verdict: Runners should wave or at least acknowledge one another. Do your best to be friendly even if you are too tired to smile.

Any other questions and/or decisions that you face when you are out on the road? Need an answer? Share here…

Some of the questions I always face while I’m out running are:

  • When in a pack and approaching another runner or walker going in the opposite direction, what do you do? Do you step off to the grass? Do you go single file? Who should step to the side?
  • When coming up behind someone and getting ready to pass them (I’m talking on a casual run and not in a race of course)…What is the right way to let them know you are there so that you don’t scare them? Yell as if you were a biker (they will sometimes use bells)? Quietly let them know you are there with an “on your left”? Go around them and run on the grass for a few steps without even letting them know you are there?
  • When you’re out on an early Sunday morning long run and you come across a table with drinks and gatorade displayed (obviously for some other running group) on the side of the road – and you are parched and thirsty – can you take a sip? Do you ask the person standing near the drinks if you can have someone? What if no one is there? Is it okay to take some water if you need it?
  • Bathroom stops. We have all needed them at some point on a run…I mean what should you expect when you are putting in the long mileage on the roads? So what do you do? Do you go behind a bush? Do you use a leaf or did you bring a few tissues just in case? Do you hold it, cut your run short and run home (if you can make it)? Or do you stop by a random house (or at least one that looks friendly) and ask to use their bathroom? (This last one may seem crazy…but one of my high school runners actually did this!!! I asked him how he chose the specific house to stop at and he said “there was a car in the driveway and a basketball hoop.” So I guess the car and basketball hoop makes the person at home less sketch?!) What do you think?

Be sure to check out the original blog at Run The Edge.

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