A PSA: How to Pass People While Running

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Racing, Training

Guest blog from Chicks Dig Running

You may not have previously been aware of this, but there is actually a right and a wrong way to pass people.  Whether it be on the road, on a trail, in a race, or even just your nightly jog, it’s important to be considerate of other runners (and walkers) as you pass them by.  Here are some important things to keep in mind when you’re blowing past everyone else on your run!

On the road:

Stick to the “slow traffic right” rule you follow on the highway.  If you’re walking, or jogging slowly, stay to the right of the sidewalk, and pass those who are moving more slowly than you on the left.  Once you pass them, resume your spot on the right. You never know who is coming up behind you, and usually by the time you hear them it’s too late to move out of the way.

On a track:

If you like to do intervals on your local track, be considerate of other runners. If there are other people working out at the same time, respect the lane they have chosen. The great thing about a true oval track is that the distances will be marked out for every lane.  So even if you have to move out to the higher number lanes, you are still running the same distance for every repeat. If you jog in between repeats to cool down, stay in your lane if nobody else is using it. If you’re sharing the lane with someone else, move to a further out lane for the easy jogging segments to avoid ruining their intervals.

On a trail:

On the trails, you usually have some space to yourself. It’s still a good idea to stay to the right, though, when possible – especially if it’s a really busy trail.  If you’re on a relatively uninhabited trail and you are approaching someone else, it’s nice to call out “on your left” as you approach them.  This alerts the person to someone coming up behind them and keeps them from getting startled when you suddenly appear right next to them. It can be a little freaky when you think you’re alone on a trail and then you hear someone seemingly appear out of nowhere, and that soft ground can mask the sound of footsteps pretty well.  I have startled a few people while jogging on my favorite trails, so now I try to give people a heads-up.

In a race:

This is probably the most important one, since you’ll probably be passing more people (because you’re a badass, that’s why). In a race, you’re going to pass people wherever you can.  Especially in big races, you may need to weave in between people to get where you need to be.  The right/left rule doesn’t really apply here so much. The important things to remember in a race are:

1. Don’t pass someone until you know you have enough in the tank to stay in front of them, at least for the foreseeable future. It is extremely irritating to others to keep going back and forth with the same person. Determine that you have what you need to pass them, then pass with confidence and maintain that pace.

2. Do NOT pass someone, then tuck in front of them and slow down.  If you are racing on a track, you can pass someone and then get in front of them to avoid running further than necessary (by running in outside lanes) but if you are going to do that, you had better be able to keep up your speed!

3. Be polite. No snide comments or dirt looks to those you pass by. They’re having a hard enough time already, so be polite. Nobody likes a poor sport. Plus, you’ll look like a tool if they pass you back again later.

Chicks Dig Running is a part of our Blog Network and offers up lots of great stuff on nutrition, training, health, etc. Check them out!

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