Track etiquette -
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Track etiquette

Are you new to running on tracks? Below you can find answers to some common questions.

What should I know before running on a track?

Lane 1 (and all the other lanes) is for running. Stay out of the inner lanes when you are resting etc.

Always look around you when you are changing lanes or stepping onto or off the track.

Can I use my neighborhood track?

That differs a lot from area to area. Try our track search to find the rules for your track.

Can anyone use lane 1 on a track?

Yes! And you don't have to move out to let other runners pass you on the inside. It is safer to let them go outside of you. If you change lanes right when they approach you it will usually lead to confusion.

Note that this is for public tracks. Sometimes you might be allowed to run on a track but the inner lanes are reserved by a club or a school etc. In these cases, our track calculator might come in handy.

Which direction should I run on a track?

Run counterclockwise. This is the direction for which all the markers are set up, the direction races are held in and the direction everyone else will be running. If you are running long distances and want to alternate directions you can do so as long as you are alone on the track. If anyone else is using the track you should make sure it's ok with them and stay out (preferably way out) of lane 1.

Can we run side by side on a track?

If you are running with a big group, avoid spreading out over several of the inner lanes. Make it possible for people to pass you in lane 2. If you want to run several people next to each other you should use the outer lanes.

Do I need spikes to run on a track?

No. In fact, some tracks may disallow spikes at times to reduce the wear and tear.


Do you disagree with any of this? Do you want to add something? Send your thoughts in an email to

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