Running Etiquette: How to Become the Least Popular Runner on the Roads

Over the years, I've come to realize that a lot of people set out to run, but have no idea that they are breaking some hard and fast rules. At RunFit MKE, we want you to achieve your personal goals. We also want to make sure you know the rules of the game so you're not the least popular runner on the road. Here's our list of do's and don'ts...


DO stay to the right side of the trail/road when running so that faster runners, cyclists, and rollerbladers can easily pass on your left. If you're going to pass another runner, try to give them a heads-up by saying, "on your left."  

DON'T run 3-wide on busy trails and during races. Running with friends can be highly motivating; but creating a blockade for faster runners to pass can be really frustrating to fellow runners and racers.



DO look both ways before you spit! I personally don't understand the practice of spitting during a run, but if you need to... make sure you are clear of other pedestrians, please. 

DON'T abruptly stop during a run or race. More times than not, there are other runners behind you and they will need to throw on the brakes too. If you need to slow down or take a walk break, make sure to move all the way to the right of the path/course first.



DO save your perfume or aftershave for after-race festivities. Our senses, especially smell and taste become hyper sensitive during endurance activities. 

DON'T share your music! I get it - Desposito is your jam! But for others the tune may want to make them run off the nearest cliff. If you are running amongst other runners or racers, make sure to plug your headphones in!



DO reserve your race selfie or need to take a quick pic until after you've crossed the finish line. Slowing down and sticking your arm out to catch the perfect shot of yourself or the world around you during a race is a no-no. Not only are you increasing the likelihood of stepping into an injury, but it's dangerous to other racers as well.

DON'T use a race as an opportunity to catch up with an old friend. Some of us can't breathe very well during a race, let alone don’t have the ability to hold a conversation about old high school classmates.  Remember, everyone has a different motivation for running, so be respectful to others race goals.  


DO keep your furry friend on a short leash. If you are running with your dog, make certain the leash isn't so long that it acts as a clothesline for other runners to have to hurdle.

DON'T swerve abruptly during a race to make sure the photographers catch you in action. Run like you'd drive - move into a faster lane, establish yourself, and then move again once the traffic is clear.



Out of all the running do's and dont's, remember this: Don't Stop. Dig deep to keep your body moving foward. Cross that finish line. You can do it!  If you  need some coaching or support, RunFit MKE can create a custom training plan for you. Whether it's a 5K, 10K, or Marathon, we'll make sure you're ready for race day! We'll also help you understand proper running etiquette so you're not the least popular runner on the road!   

Karen Berenson