Indoor track etiquette
There aren’t quite as many track etiquette rules as there are for having high tea, but here are some of the things that you need to know:
1) Look both ways before crossing the track.
Think of the track like you would a road–you wouldn’t walk across without checking for cars.
2) Don’t stop on the track.
Stopping suddenly may not leave the person behind you with enough time to react (because we all know that the outside world sometimes fades away during a workout and we’re not at our most observant).
3) Inside lanes are reserved for fast runners.
When you’re warming up, or if you’re there to walk, stick to the outer edges of the track.
4) Call out “track” when passing someone.
“On the inside” and “on your right/left” are also appropriate for letting someone know that you are coming up around them.
5) Most tracks designate which direction you should travel—pay attention to this.
If there is no designation, you can assume that you should run counter-clockwise (unless other runners already there are doing something different, in that case, go with the flow of traffic). Often community tracks designate which direction to run and may switch the direction on different days of the week.
6) If a team is practicing on the track, give them their space (and they’ll likely do the same for you).
Most teams that have booked a track are willing to share with community members, as long as they aren’t getting in the way.
7) Wearing headphones is fine, but make sure that you have the volume at a level where you can still hear if someone is calling out to pass.
Keep your bass down low.
8) Some indoor tracks are banked (think like a racecar track) and your legs will need time to get used to it.
This is why it is also important to make sure you are running in different directions (maybe alternate between workouts), so that one leg isn’t always taking all the pounding. Always running in one direction on a banked track can lead to injuries from lopsided pounding.
9) Keep your belongings away from the edges of the track.
Leaving bags and bottles on the edge of the track can be a hazard for those in the lanes closest to the inside or outside lanes. Keep your stuff at least a metre back so that no one trips.
10) Be respectful.
As always, when you’re sharing space with other people, be polite and respectful. Indoor tracks mean much closer quarters than outdoor ones and certain things no longer fly (no spitting and keep your shirts on).