Is it just me or do you want to shout advice and form corrections to runners on the road as you drive by?
After being married to a runner for 10 years now, my husband will stop me before I start to say something like “You’re on the wrong side of the road!” to a runner who is clearly cheating death by running with traffic. I never actually yell at them, I basically just yell it at my husband, which he enjoys immensely.
Since I would actually never call out to a runner from my car, mostly because they wouldn’t be able to understand me, I’m going to collectively “yell” my advice here, at all of you. Get your ears ready…
RUN ON THE CORRECT SIDE OF THE ROAD
I seriously have no clue how some people still do not know which side to run or cycle on. I have actually never seen a cyclist get it wrong so, let’s just stick with runners. You need to run AGAINST traffic. Now, I’ve heard there may be different laws in different states (like Arizona where they don’t like to comply with things like daylight savings or MLK) and, I have no clue about running in other countries however, I do know that if you want to return from a run to your home and not a hospital, you should run so you can see the cars coming at you!
Also, just so you know, you cycle WITH traffic…and it can be terrifying.
Your legs will follow your arm swing. Please remember this the next time you find yourself swinging them in front of your body. Do you want to trip? Waste energy? I didn’t think so. Forward and back people, forward and back.
Other common form issues include hunching over or staring down at your feet, having your shoulders in your ears and over striding.
I often feel bad for what is obviously a newbie runner who is out there with two shirts and/or sweatshirts tired around their waist because they misjudged the weather. In these cases I want to drive up beside them an offer to lighten their load. Of course I would probably get pepper-sprayed so I just keep driving.
Anyway, a good rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 10 degrees warmer outside. Your body temperature heats up quickly, after a mile or two, so if you feel cold at the start of a run you know you’re dressed correctly and will be more comfortable for the duration. If you’re only going out for a mile, don’t worry about it and just run!
A great tool can be found at Runner’s World where, by entering the temp, wind, and type of run (long, easy, race, etc.) it will recommend an entire outfit and it’s usually right on: WHAT TO WEAR
THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN SAID TO ME
Not everyone employs my discretion when it comes to yelling at runners. In the 15 years I’ve been pounding the pavement this is some of what I’ve heard:
It’s way to hot for you to be out here! – Older woman who actually caught me at a stop sign and was genuinely concerned. She was right.
Do you know where I can buy some tampons? – a group of drunk assholes I encountered around 6am on the Vegas strip. I was too afraid to respond with some choice words because they were holding beer cans. #Sadbuttrue
I wish I was you – a mom pushing her babies in a stroller on a bike path. This was before I had kids so I responded with “I wish I was YOU!”
Great day for a run! – a passing runner on a trail in the pouring, driving, rain. Needless to say, we were the only two
fools out there.
Wow that looks so easy! – no one ever
Mostly I want to yell encouraging words like “you can do it!” or “nice pace!” and I usually always wish I was out there too. Obviously none of the above really matters, what matters most is you’re out there doing it so keep on running and the rest will come.
[Tweet “Are you a drive by #run #coach? Advice to give and take for #road #runners!”]
What do you want to yell to runners? Keep it clean…
What side of the road do you run on?
Oh this is a good one! I would definitely get pepper sprayed if I dropped every running to “coach” them. I must admit I run in the wrong side of the road sometimes. Running on the same side of the road all the time can mess up your gait because of the bank in the road. However I make sure I do it on desolate back roads AND I don’t wear music. I had a car come up behind me and beeped like crazy as they passed. I was all ready to flip the asshole off when I spied the million running theme bumper stickers on their car. Thanks runner dude!!
I have heard other runners complain about the bank on the side of the road but it has yet to bother me. However, totally legit reason and I know you are hyper aware and experienced 🙂 Love that story about the runner in the car honking!!
Ha this made me LOL. It does baffle me with how many people don’t run on the correct side of the road. I don’t get it!
Glad I could give you a good laugh and yes, it’s insane, isn’t it??
OMG! It’s like we are of one mind today. Almost.
Sometimes I critique people’s form in my head–usually during races to take my mind off of my effort. At one race for the longest time, I was behind one girl who was stiff legged and knock-kneed. I can’t imagine running like that for 13.1 miles but there she was.
I’ve heard the “I wish I were you comment” more than once. Usually while I’m sweating profusely and trying to get to a bathroom. I make it look so glam!
LOL! Runners are definitely not known for their “glam” right?
Can’t wait to read your blog and see how our wavelengths are bonding…
I love this soooo much!! So many great tips in here! Can you believe that I totally don’t run on the road? It’s so much better for my joints–YES but man quite honestly running is NOT a normal thing around here especially in the early morning hours. Usually it’s just me and whomever I see at the track and most people DRIVE to the track!! So I keep it on the sidewalk because Brooklyn drivers….I always wonder what folks think of me when I’m running but no one has yelled anything at me (unless you include the gross men that yell out of their windows) ugh.
I was actually thinking of you city dwellers, who do not have this issue, when I was writing the piece. That’s funny that people drive to the track?? What is the point of that?? I cannot imagine it’s a time saver…
nah its really because its semi dangerous….so I get it…I don’t run those pre dawn hours anymore…the risk was just too great.
My family now beats me to the punch — “Hey, Mom, LOOK! There’s another runner who doesn’t know which side of the road to run on!” And I agree-I’m so used to running against traffic that riding my bike with traffic is terrifying!!
I love that your family now recognizes it!! That is great – you are raising road rule follower 🙂
One thing I love about living in Raleigh, NC is the town invested millions of dollars in Greenway trails. We have over 100 miles of paved trails and I hardly ever run on the roads. I’m spoiled living in this great area!! BUT when I see people running on the roads here in Raleligh it’s usually the people wearing knee braces, kinetic tape, belts with 2 or 3 water bottles attached and they look pathetic. Their form is awful and I so wish I could pull over and give them a few pointers… I don’t get it. Running has become more trendy and sadly I’m seeing many people injured due to improper form or thinking a half or full marathon is doable without proper training. I just ran with a friend who fibbed about her training and barely made it across the finish line at the race. The comment: but I finished! Me: you did and now you can’t walk and you’re shoes aren’t right….I wanted to YELL you’re an idiot!! But I refrained… I SO wish we had more of you, Allie who expresses her knowledge and takes running seriously! Thanks for your great blogs and always keeping us informed. xoxo
First of all I’m so jealous of all your miles of paved, glorious paths! That must be so great.
Second, I’ve had a few experiences with people like that and I just don’t understand it. Is it just for bragging rights? Ugh. So awful and the complete opposite of what running and being healthy is all about but, whatever…
Thanks so much Tiffany!! I really appreciate your words and for always reading mine 🙂
When you talk about running against traffic, you are talking about if you are actually on the street, right?? Because sometimes I am on the sidewalk running with traffic depending on the route I’m taking…. #amateur
I should have clarified because, if you’re on the sidewalk you are technically “safe” and it really doesn’t matter. Although I will tell you that sidewalk concrete is not the best for your joints. However, I know you have to run where you can in the city!
oh….this joint talk is making you sound like my husband….
I run against traffic, and if I’m running with a friend I have to run on their left hand side. OCD. And I had a group of guys in a car yell “YOU’RE FAT” at me once. 🙂 Big jerks. I wasn’t even close to being fat, but if I struggled with my weight then I’m sure they would have made me cry!
Good girl! And yes, I have e few friends who need to be on one side or another and I willingly comply with their wishes 🙂
Guys yelling stupid stuff out to women is one of life’s greatest mysteries. I’m going to make a point of talking to my boys about that!
HA! I know I’m no expert, but when I see someone doing something horribly wrong while running I do want to say something.
Same with the gym… and I will actually correct them if it’s going to hurt them. DO NOT lock your knees on the leg press. Geez.
Oh the gym form is just a whole different story!! I usually don’t say anything because I don’t want to make the person feel badly but they are really going to hurt themselves!!!
I am not a running coach by any means, however I do have someone in on of the training groups I take that HUNCHES OVER AS SHE IS RUNNING!
Maybe there is a polite way to help her out?? That could cause a lot of problems, not to mention, it’s slowing her down!
I love this! I want to correct runners on their form all the time. I don’t run on roads anymore but on multiuse bike paths. It drives me insane when people don’t abide by trail etiquette and run in groups blocking the full width of the trail. I always want to yell at them to be aware of their surroundings!
I see a lot of the same cyclists on the trails so they recognize me. I switch up where I start on the trails (it’s a 30+ mile trail) and one cyclist stopped me once because he thought I had run all the way from where he normally sees me and had done over 20 miles. No, not yet…soon though!
That is too funny about the cyclist! But yes, runners blocking the width of the trial is the worst..actually when pace groups do it in races, it’s the worst!
I always run against traffic…and I do the same thing you do as far as telling my husband :). I actually hate the idea of biking with traffic even though I know you are supposed to. I really like the idea of seeing what is coming at me!!!
I have seen, a few times actually, runners running on the wrong side in the dark wearing dark clothes….those are times I actually do want to say something!
I actually just had someone say to me today as I ran by “girl your crazy for running in this heat”. :). It really wasn’t even that hot. It was hot, but it wasn’t like I was going to die. It was maybe 80…it was definitely humid though. I also ran by two other runners who exchanged thumbs ups :)!!!
I like seeing what is coming at me too. Some cars and trucks barely give you enough room and it’s super scary.
That is funny about running in the heat! I guess that’s ALL you will be running in from now on in Florida 🙂
haha I love this and you. I can only imagine how much restraint it takes to not yell at the people!! The running with vs against traffic does baffle me. But in general, it terrifies me to run on the shoulder of country roads! And I love that Runner’s World tool!
Thanks Christine and yes, it demands a lot of restraint when I’m actually out there running and someone walking a huge dog is coming right at me, on the same side!! UGH!!!
Glad you also take advantage of the RW app. I seriously couldn’t dress sometimes without it. #helpless
Thank you This is great advice! and beautifully stated!
We were visiting Gettysburg in one of our rest days, it was blazing hot and humid and we saw a group of 3 young men running, we didn’t have any advice, but we offered them a brand new bottle of cold water we had, they turned it down…. and we realized that we probably looked crazy to them.
I’m a big chicken, I only run on the road where I know traffic will be light, or where there is a path.
Wow! They turned it down? That is impressive…although maybe they thought you were trying to poison them.
That is not being chicken – that is being SMART!