Running with a group has numerous benefits, especially when running long distances. The miles go a lot faster when you're talking with other runners, and it's always nice to know someone has got your back if you hit a rough spot. But group running also requires that you follow some basic etiquette and behavior rules. Here's how to make sure you stay safe and don't annoy your fellow runners:
1. Leave your headphones and dogs at home.Sure, music helps push some runners along, but it's anti-social to wear headphones during a group run. It can also be dangerous because listening to music means you'll be less aware of your surroundings and you won't be able to hear instructions from other runners in your group. And, while your dog may be friendly and an excellent runner, he may make other runners nervous and uncomfortable. Promise your dog you'll run with him on your own.
Also see: Video: Safety Tips for Listening to Music While Running
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2. Don't jingle.Running with coins or keys in your pocket may not bother you, but you can bet that it will annoy at least one person in your group.
3. Be punctual.Show up early or on-time for the start of runs. It's not fair to the people who make an effort to get there on time that they have to wait for late-comers.
4. Establish some rules upfront.Make sure everyone agrees to a certain set of rules before you head out. For example, do you wait for those who have to stop to go to the bathroom, or does the person who stops have to catch up? If everyone knows the basic rules beforehand, it will avoid possible conflicts or misunderstandings during the run.
5. Be familiar with the route.If your group leader distributes a route description before the run, make sure you're familiar with it. It's not fair to expect other runners to make sure you don't get lost.
Also see: Running Safety Rules
6. Be prepared with what you need.Don't expect to rely on other runners for supplies. Carry your own water and nutrition, as well as some cash, just in case you need it.
Also see: Best Water Bottles and Carriers
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7. Don't be a road hog.Make sure you're running no more than two abreast, especially on busy roads, sidewalks, or trails, so that other runners and cyclists can easily pass. Be aware of any special rules for running in parks or on trails, such as running in a clockwise direction on a loop course.
Also see: Road Running Etiquette Rules