Running in the Fast Lane 101

As part of the Galloway Blogger Program, I hope that my readers will pick up some great running knowledge from this series.  In addition to my own running coach, Jeff has imparted a great deal of wisdom on my running life. If it wasn’t for his Run/Walk method, I don’t think I would have ever started running. So, sink in to your favorite chair and make room in your brain for some more running wisdom from America’s Coach!

Today, Jeff is touching on a running in the fast lane! These are great running etiquette tips for all runners.  

Running Fast Lane Galloway

Neighborhood tracks are the most convenient place to run for most.  Whether you’re taking your first steps or wanting to improve your time, it’s easy to check your pace by timing each lap. Because I’ve spoken to many runners who mistakenly feel that they are not fast enough to run at the local oval, here are a few simple guidelines: 

What is the distance of a lap?  
Standard distance is 400 meters (@ .25 mile).

In which direction should I run?   
In most cases, run counterclockwise.  A few tracks alternate direction from day to day,  so follow the direction of the other runners.

What lane should I use when running slow or walking?  
The inside 3 lanes are reserved for faster runners and those doing speed workouts.  Most runners should use the 2 outside lanes.

How do I pass slower runners? 
Assuming a normal, counterclockwise pattern, move to the right to pass, with a smile.

Is it OK for kids to ride bikes and skate on the track? 
This is not a good idea.  Try to find another place near the track for these activities.

Do I have to pay to use a track?  
Most tracks are free, but the hours of use may be restricted by the school.

Can I run on the track with an iPod? 
This is up to you but be aware of your surroundings and possible threats or faster runners coming up behind you.  Keep one ear uncovered.

Do I need special shoes?  
No—you can use the same shoe for road, track or fitness trail—unless you are a competitor doing very fast speedwork.

Are there any times that I should not use the track?
If there is a track meet or organized track practice by the local team, find another running area.  Some track teams allow recreational runners to use the outside lane during their workouts.  

Say What?
Repeats—These are the fast segments during a speed workout.  Each repeat (usually about 3-5% of the distance of the goal event) is run slightly faster than goal race pace, followed by a rest interval of  walking or slow jogging.  Through a series of workouts, the number of repetitions gradually increases. 

The Fix
I always lose count of how many times I’ve run around the track! How can I keep track of it better?  Office supply stores sell “counters” that keep track of the number of laps as you click each time you finish a lap.  Another method: time yourself for the first 2 laps, for two laps in the middle and 2 laps at the end.  Compute an average of the lap times.  You can compute the number of laps by dividing the total time run by the average time per lap.

The Excuse
There are lots of fast-looking people at my track; I’m scared I’ll get in their way.  The inside lanes are for faster runners.  If you run in the outside lane, you will not get in their way.

Thanks for the advice, Jeff!  Be sure to sign up for Jeff’s newsletter at

If you are not familiar with the Galloway Method (Run Walk Run) or Jeff Galloway, Jeff Galloway is known in the running community as an Olympian, runDisney official coach, and marathoner. But, Jeff is best known for the Galloway Method –  a Run/Walk/Run strategy. 

Read more of my series, Run Walk Run: Motivation and Tips from Jeff Galloway

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Running Galloway 13.1


Don’t miss out on this opportunity to complete the First Annual Double G! 

The first 400 participants who register for the Double G will receive a JG-branded puffer vest! If you are one of the lucky 400, you will be able to pick up your vest at the Expo.

The Double G includes:

Barb’s 5K (Saturday, December 10, 2016)
JG 13.1 (Sunday, December 11, 2016)
3rd medal for completing both races
* The Double G is only for those who participate in the actual races in Atlanta. It does not apply to the virtual option.

Register at


Cassandra Burke is a Forensic Scientist by day, and a Group Fitness Instructor, Swim Team Coordinator and Travel Agent by night. A Breast Cancer Survivor since 2010, she writes about her journey as well as her struggles – training for triathlons and races, struggling to get back her health, and balancing family life all while building her brand and finding her purpose after cancer. Subscribe to Cassandra’s newsletter for updates and follow @poweredbybling on social media! For endurance sport race travel and custom family vacation travel, visit her at

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