Do & Do Not: You

Have you ever had one of those instances where you are running along a trail or a bike path or the sidewalk and a runner comes toward you on the wrong side? And you wonder who taught, or didn't teach, them what side to run on?

I have. And sometimes I wonder if it's ME that's on the wrong side or doing it wrong. So today, I want to hear your vote on the rules of running. Maybe I can learn a few things. Maybe I have been doing it wrong all these years. Let's see.

1. You are running on a trail that is single track (one person width). You come up on someone slower than you from behind. What do you do/say?

2. You are running uphill on a single track. Someone comes downhill toward you. Do you yield? Or should the other runner?

3. You are running on a sidewalk-less road/street/highway. Which side do you run on?

4. You are running on a street WITH a sidewalk. Which side do you run on?

5. You are running on a running path which is wide enough for 2 or 3 people. Which side do you run on?

6. You are running on a path mostly used for biking, which is 2-3 people wide. Which side are you on?

And last, just for curiosity sake, you are running on a path and you encounter any or all of these situations: a) coming toward you are three ladies with strollers, walking abreast, taking up the entire path, b) coming toward you is a person with a dog on a leash that is stretched over to the other side of the path, essentially taking up the entire path, unless you want to do the limbo or c) coming toward you are three fit runners, running three abreast, also taking up the entire path. What do you do?

I am asking because I want to validate my behavior aka a) pushing the stroller out of my way, b) kicking the dog and c) giving the runners the finger.

So, weigh in. I want to find out from you what the proper running etiquette is. I will give you my answers in a separate post. I don't want to sway your judgement. Any other scenarios where you feel that I, or other runners, need to be schooled on?

I am linking up at Jill's today for Fitness Friday!


  1. Ha, ha! I think the kicking strollers out of the way/giving finger method is perfectly acceptable!

    The only time I had trouble w/ all of this was when I was in Australia, b/c of course, they do it all on the other side of roads/paths/trails. I had to concentrate there!

  2. 1. I have never ran on a single track, actually, but if I came upon someone slower I'd say, "on your left".
    2. Again, never been on a single track, but I'd yield to the person going downhill as they are going faster.
    3. If I am running on the road, I run on the left.
    4. If I am on a side walk, I run on the right.
    5. Same as above, I run on the right.
    6. I run on the right, but am never sure if this is the right thing to do... I feel like if the path is built for your use (i.e. sidewalk or running path) you run on the right, if it's built for another use (road or bike path) you should run on the left... But I still stick to the right...

    As far as the strollers/dog walkers w/ a dog on a ridiculously long leash, path hogs, I never say anything. I just curse them out in my head. My running club is pretty good about not hogging the path. We will shout "runner up!" when we see someone coming to make sure there is room on the path and we usually run 2 abreast so people coming behind us have room to pass.

  3. But the question is, which streetcar tracks to you run on?

  4. I don't think I've ever run on a single track, so I can't help you there. But on the road, I run facing traffic. And if there is a sidewalk, I still run on the road facing traffic, unless a huge menacing truck is headed toward me!

  5. On the regular road, with no sidewalk (which is where I run at least 75% of the time), I on on the left, running towards traffic. It really annoys me when people are on the incorrect side in this case because it seems like I'm always the person to move and don't think I should be. In all the other situations, it doesn't really both me much which way people are going. For me though, I stay to the right of the trail/path. If I come up behind someone on a trail, I will say 'On your left' to hopefully not scare the person.

  6. OMG trying not to read other responses before I answer:
    1. ON your left!!! And then blow by dropping them a walker that you happened to be carrying. JK hahahah
    2. the other runner should yield. it is known fact that it is WAY HARDER to run uphill.
    3. you should run against traffic on the road.
    4. if there is a sidewalk you go in the direction of traffic
    5. you run on the right side as if you were driving (in US)
    6. for biking same rule follows...at least on the charles... go with traffic. otherwise its just a mess.

    For A B and C KEEP STRIDE AND PLOW INTO THEM. Or at least fake it that u are going to do that and they are BOUND to move and if they don't you can attempt to avoid them at last second or run into them. Totally valid.

  7. I think I usually stay on the left at all times. I try to pass on the right if there is room.
    1. yell, 'on your left' as loud as necessary (louder if they have headphones)
    2. I'd yield, it's probably easier for me to slow down
    3. the right - on as much shoulder as possible
    4. the right - pass around people on the left
    5. the right
    6. the right
    a) try to stare them down and then squeeze by where I can fit
    b) I usually walk past big scary dogs
    c) cower and tremble (I've actually never experienced this one - I do think the the more fit people are usually more courteous. Maybe

    I'd love to do all of your responses though. My biggest problem is when I come up *behind* the ladies and their strollers and their dogs walking slowly and taking up the whole path.

    BTW, your blog font looks fine to me :-)

  8. When I'm running on a road with no sidewalk, I run against traffic. When I'm running on a road with a sidewalk, I usually run with traffic. When I'm passing a group of people taking up the whole damn path and being completely oblivious to the fact that other people are also using this public area, I am not above "accidentally" brushing them with my sweaty self as I pass. I hope they learn their lesson! Same goes for people coming toward me who are taking up the whole path, or who are taking their half out of the middle. Also, if a car doesn't give me the right of way in an intersection or at a turn, I will totally yell at them or thump on their trunk with my hand. Just because I'm not in a car doesn't mean I don't also have the right to be on the road!

  9. 1. I would say "On your left" although that usually freaks people out.
    2. Downhill should yield. Whoever is exerting more effort gets the right of way
    3. Run against traffic so you can see the cars coming towards you
    4. Either side
    5. I run the crown of the path for itband sake, and move over when others approach. The right answer is probably the right side.
    6. Right
    7. Last time I experienced this I said "excuse me" in a way that meant "excuse you"
    I like your solutions though. We both have this same rage inducing pet peeve:)

  10. That is a lot of questions! If I'm on a bike/running path, I always stay to the far right as I would consider myself a form of transportation. If I am on single track or passing a runner, I always say "passing on your..."whatever side I am on. If I'm running on the road, I always run facing traffic. People who don't are just asking to get hit.

  11. OMG, don't even get me started. Seriously. There are very few things that get me heated, but walking on the wrong side and/or being disrespectful of other people on the sidewalk/path is one of those trigger issues for me!!!! In general, I was raised to walk/jog to the right, unless you're doing so in a road with cars, in which case you walk on the left. Here's some more insights to the way my brain works...
    1. I probably yell "on your left" and hope they step to the side.
    2. I probably yield, because their momentum is harder to stop.
    3. Left, against traffic.
    4. I run on the right side of the sidewalk.
    5. I run on the right side of the path.
    6. I run on the right side of the path.

    I get so annoyed when a group of anyone runs more than 2 across, especially when they know they're going to encounter other runners, bikers, pedestrians. I've been known to keep running and have run into/through quite a few people who weren't paying attention or didn't move when they were 3 across. I figured it was their loss, since my sweat would be all over them. Hahahah.

  12. I can't remember all the questions now...

    But 1. I would say- 'Good morning' -or good afternoon etc-so they know I am coming.
    2. Hill-the one coming down has it easier-so they would urely jump off the path-i would HAVE to keep going up hill.

  13. Any running etiquette I had has been ruined from running overseas. It's every one for him- or herself. I was actually thinking of this this morning as I was on a walking/running path, going up and down hills, wondering who should be moving out of whose way. In India you walk, run, drive, bicycle, etc., wherever you want and only worry about yourself.

    So when I'm back in the US, I apologize in advance for my poor running etiquette. Too many years of defensive running.

    I run with a stroller sometimes and other moms hogging the path annoys me too! I recommend not touching the stroller unless you want to feel the wrath of a mommy scorned, even if you are the one in the right. I give lots of evil eyes. Especially if they're walking while I'm trying to run.


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!