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5 Things All Runners Need to Know

by Melissa Bell
5 minutes read

Everyone feels differently about running. Some people feel the positive effects immediately, while others take a bit longer. Regardless of who you are, it’s universally beneficial. There are also rules that apply to everyone, and should form the cornerstones of your exercise.

Some of the unwritten rules of running are there for your benefit and safety, while others are in place with others in mind. Being courteous to others is an important part to being a runner, after all. Wherever you do your running, be it on a trail or road, be sure to abide by these guidelines.

Changing Rules of Terrain

Running outside on a physical track has several advantages over running on a treadmill – for one thing, it’s cheaper. Running on actual terrain also works more muscles. However, there are a few things to keep in mind running outside that may not cross your mind while remaining stationary in the gym.

The rules to running change with the terrain on which you are traveling. Always make sure that you run in opposition to traffic so both parties can see each other. If you are running in the same direction as traffic it becomes more likely for an accident to occur because of the potential for lessened awareness.

If you are running on a trail, follow the rules of the road; that is, stick to the right side and maintain a single-file formation if running with friends. If your choice of terrain is a track, allow the innermost paths to be dedicated to those running at the quickest pace.

Invest In Proper Shoes and Attire

Proper clothing and footwear are downright essential for a runner. Brands like Nike and Adidas are reliable and can improve both the comfort and effectiveness of your workout. Likewise, a good pair of running shorts and some type of reflective surface can go a long way. Any time that visibility becomes at all questionable, it is highly advised you wear something with a reflective surface. If you begin a run and the sun begins to set during the middle of it, have the foresight to plan ahead.  

Stay Aware

Be mindful of your surroundings while running. You might be able to get away with putting headphones in while using a treadmill at the gym, but when you are running out in the world, it’s highly advised that you keep your hearing intact. Never assume that anyone else can see you. If you don’t hear a car coming and the driver just to happens to be looking at their phone or reaching around for something on the floor of their car, it could mean a collision with dire consequences.

If you absolutely insist on listening to music, use only one headphone. Likewise, if you are running with a group, being too engrossed in conversation can result in a similar decrease in focus and alertness. Always be cautious of your surroundings and try to have a rough idea of the trail before beginning. If running in an area where there are cars, opt for one in which the speed limit is lower, as high vehicle speed is linked to both increased likelihood and severity of injury.

Run With A Group

Running with a group can be much more engaging for some people. When choosing what type of group you would like to join, take into account the pace and level of experience of the other members. The best groups are a mixture of both experienced and beginner runners, as you will be able to either give or take advice.

Check out running forums online or browse Facebook groups. No matter what type of group you choose, be sure to never run more than two abreast, and don’t let anyone get too far ahead or behind the pack by themselves. This can make all the difference if they were to sustain an injury or be faced with some other kind of emergency.


On top of being beneficial to your body and brain, running can also be a great way to sightsee and become acquainted with areas you aren’t used to. Wherever you are running, treat the area with respect. If you are with a group running in the later hours, don’t make more noise than you need to. It should go without saying, but never litter either. Stuff any wrappers or other trash you produce in your pocket until you can find a trash can.

With your metabolism ramped up from aerobic exertion, runners are often faced with the need to relieve themselves. Never do this where people can see you, and certainly never do it on private property. Remember, you are a representative of runners everywhere. The last thing the running community needs is for someone to see you squatting over their lawn like a Saint Bernard.

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