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While no one likes to be told they are rude, it’s worse to be perceived as rude without even knowing why. Imagine turning around to see fellow joggers around you giving you dirty stares. Unintentional rudeness happens to the best of us, but as long as we are aware of the “blind spots” of jogging etiquette, we can become the courteous joggers we expect others to be.
Jogging with your “squad” can be a fun and healthy group activity. Sharing the entire lane offers the convenience of catching up on the latest gossip or sharing grandmother stories. It also gives you a whale of a time, which helps you ignore the killer glares joggers behind throw at your back. Unfortunately, while jogging as a large group offers a sense of camaraderie, it also obstructs runners behind. This tends to disrupt their concentration and pacing, which forces them to go through the trouble of going around your squad. Thus, it would be polite to keep to one side when jogging and ensure that your squad isn’t taking too much space. As the saying goes, no one’s grandfather owns the road but should yours really do, please contact LIV3LY so we may rent a whole jogging trail for a team building run.
Check Your Back on the Track
Sometimes we pass pedestrians or other runners as we go about our run. For many of us, our Singaporean instinct breaks surface and we mentally exclaim, “Overtake! Yes, I’m faster!” But unless we do one crucial thing before this customary cheer, we’d be more likely to go “Ouch! Who crashed into me from behind?” instead. In most situations, we can pass a slower runner or walker without creating a collision. However, be sure to check behind you for cyclists or other runners coming up behind the lane, especially so in a race because running paths tend to be denser with people.
Litter Bugs in the Park
Running can be exhausting and mentally draining. When runners get into their ‘zones’, they may be fixated on their workout and nothing else. However, this should never equate to a compromise for our surroundings. Be it a marathon or a personal run, joggers sometimes have the tendency to throw their trash on the ground. No one likes a litter bug! Give the cleaners a break and preserve our Garden City status by making an effort to either bin your trash or hold on to it until you can do so. Unless plants with trash-consuming jaws have been discovered, we should save such bad habits for the far future. Perhaps until 2100.
Ready, Set, Go Behind
While it may be a uniquely Singaporean trait to want to be first in line for almost anything, you should think twice before lining up in front at the start of a race. Indeed, the first row may be a picture-perfect spot for your pre-race selfie and closer to the starting line means closer to the excitement. In principle, there should be no restrictions as to where runners should stand either. Thus, it’s not surprising to want to fight for a good front spot. However, our choices will affect others, especially if we serve as an obstruction to the more seasoned runners. Faster runners should line up in front while slower runners should start nearer the back. When faster runners have to constantly dodge slower runners and edge their way past them, it creates a needless human obstacle course that may perhaps be more welcome in Ninja Warriors. Also, slower runners might be at risk of being accidentally shoved by speedier, aggressive runners behind them. A stampede of medal-hungry, testosterone-driven runners in Nikes might be a fair comparison to the start of any race.
It’s great to have a buddy with you during a workout. Who else is there to help take your ‘candid’ Tumblr-inspired photographs? Personal mobile photographer aside, a jogging buddy offers good company and serves as your occasional cheerleader minus the pompoms and skirt. When jogging with a pal, there is etiquette to follow. While the joy of friendship includes being comfortable around one other, your partner might find some of your habits more than a little rude, and vice versa. For instance, it could be possible that your friend minds when you jog ahead to get a first class view of a newly discovered eye-candy. Or if he or she wanted to have small chats throughout the workout but you had plugged in your earphones so Macklemore can rap you through those miles. Sometimes, it can be daunting to confront a friend over rude behaviour, so one thing you can do is to casually set expectations with your friend during warm-up.
"Unintentional rudeness happens to the best of us, and as long as we are aware of the “blind spots” of jogging etiquette we can become the courteous joggers we expect others to be."
Of course, it has to be said that all of us should avoid being rude as much as possible. However, in order to realise we have been rude runners without even knowing, it is best we put ourselves in the track shoes of others.
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