5 Tips for Running on the Track

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve returned to the track for some of my *ahem* speedwork. Our local high school recently resurfaced their track and I am lucky that it is just a quick 10-minute drive from my house.

This track stays fairly busy even when school’s not in session and since the resurfacing it has been one hopping spot! I’ve just been twice in the past two weeks, but it’s clear to me that some could stand to learn a thing or two about track etiquette. So with that in mind, for this week’s Friday Five, I offer some tips for running on the track.

Run counter-clockwise — Unless otherwise posted or you have the track to yourself, you should run counter-clockwise.

Choose your lane wisely — If you’re walking or doing a slow warm-up, please stick to the outer lanes. The other day I watched two women decide to take a leisurely stroll on the inner lanes, oblivious to the runners trying to navigate past them.

Pass on the left — Pass people on the left when possible, and feel free to call out “on your left” or “track” to give plenty of warning. If you are the passee, please don’t take it personally and shoot dagger looks at the passer (as I’ve had one or two do to me in the past), just slide wide right and keep doing your thing.

Keep it moving — As a general rule of thumb, when you’re not running or walking, step off the track to take a rest or to stretch. When you finish the interval you’re running, be mindful of those around you before coming to a complete stop, and then step off to the side until you’re ready for the next round.

Leave your furry running partners and strollers at home — I can’t make this up – I have seen both! Dogs and strollers can do damage to the track surface. So leave both at home – your fellow runners will appreciate it.

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I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up! 



  1. Wow, these are great tips. I don’t do track workouts so I did not know any of this. I would have thought that if you were walking or going slow that you would walk the inside loop and give runners more space to run the outside! Glad you shared these. Have a good weekend!

  2. Wow! I’ve never seen dogs at the track, but those walkers who are oblivious . . . they annoy me.

    I don’t mind walkers but stay on the outside or at least get out of the way!
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  3. Thanks for the tips! I had no idea about running counter clockwise but it makes sense!

  4. Gosh, this brings back memories of years ago when I had access to a track. I would go run laps and run the stadium steps sometimes. It always irritated the mess out of me to see all the families who brought their kids out there to ride their bikes, skateboards and scooters while they got their workout in.
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  5. I had never thought of these as track etiquette but common sense LOL And dogs and strollers? Wow! I have to confess, though, there was an afternoon a few months ago when I went to use our college’s outdoor track for some speedwork (200’s). There was a guy (I assume one of the coaches) and a couple gals running back and forth across the “front” section of the track with the long poles for pole-vaulting. I didn’t want to be in their way, so I ran my 200’s on the “back” part of the track and jogged the recovery part in the opposite direction LOL
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  6. OMG this post. I’ve had so many issues on the track in my time. It’s insanity. One time, I encountered a group — GROUP — of people running the wrong way on the track. When I told them they needed to go the other way, they got so mad. It almost came to punches. So absurd. Still makes me mad to this day. Lol!
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  7. I didn’t know about the counterclockwise rule! Thanks for sharing all this info!
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  8. I’ve heard before about running counter clockwise but never understood why. I’ve been to the track a few times and I remember few times some HS kids were there and they were all over the place. That simply annoyed me and told myself never to return to that track. Well, it turns out that I never went back to the track. Period.
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  9. Some women in my MRTT group say that you run clockwise in outer lanes for your warm-up and counter-clockwise in inner lanes for your workout. If I’m running counter-clockwise in the inside lane, I will pass on the right, since that’s the only direction there’s room. That said, I gave up on the popular track b/c it’s so crowded. I got “road rage” over people being inconsiderate.
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    • Interesting about running clockwise for warm-ups. If I’m lucky enough to have the track to myself, I’ll actually alternate directions with each interval to give my “inner” leg a break.

  10. I am going to be hitting the track for workouts again soon thanks!
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  11. Those seem pretty basic and a lot of it, like the default to go counter-clockwise, also applies to the ice rink. Kind of annoying for me since I am a clockwise (lefty) skater!
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  12. Such good reminders and tips for everyone! Our HS track is just about 10 minutes from my home. I never thought of utilizing it for my runs!

  13. Awesome tips! I don’t have a track nearby, but if I ever find one I”ll be sure to use these.

  14. These are great tips. Thank you for sharing them! I’ve tweeted them out too!

  15. Thank you for sharing these tips! Track #runnin g shouldn’t be dangerous, though it often becomes so

  16. These tips are awesome, Michelle! I’ll try to remember them!
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