The start of the racing season is getting closer. This is a good time to start training mentally, to make sure we feel more comfortable, happy and enjoy every race. Every time we run a race we might have some issues with other runners. But luckily, trail runners tend to be very friendly, supportive of each other and respectful. To remind ourselves of proper trail running etiquette can make a huge difference for us and other runners during a race. To get pushed along the way, or stuck behind a runner who won’t allow you to pass can be a bit frustrating, for short-distance runs we can survive, but for ultras, this can affect our whole race positivity and motivation. On the opposite side, when we run along some friendly runners, it actually helps to support our motivation and energy levels as well.
- Treat and respect other runners as a friend– Whether you are running in the front, middle or towards the back, at some point someone will try to pass you. To politely ask to pass, not push or curse a fellow runner will make our race more enjoyable. Especially during long-distance races, the chances of passing the same runners a few times during a race is higher. To be friendly and respectful might help you connect with other runners along the way, to make it more enjoyable or in case you have some issues during a race and need help from others while racing. If you are known as a friendly runner, others will be more than happy to help you. To be friendly with volunteers, supporters can also increase a runner’s positivity. The way a runner treats everyone else can be one of the secrets to their long-distance running longevity.
- Keep smiling– If we start growling and frowning during a race, our brain is not happy, and starts affecting our stamina, energy and positivity. To actually focus on smiling, saying hi to runners along the way, or volunteers at checkpoints, will help to keep your energy levels up once your mind starts to get tired. By smiling and waving at someone along the way will get you to the finish line.
- Learn to communicate– Some runners love to chat along the way especially in the first part, others enjoy peace and quiet. To chat with others can be very friendly, but make sure the other runner is comfortable with talking along the way. When dealing with high elevation, talking makes it harder to breathe and affects the blood flow and energy levels. So, climbing mountains and to occasionally cheer people along the way is a great way of communicating. Sometimes it can be challenging to pass a runner who is listening to music along a narrow trail, you can raise your voice a bit gradually until they hear you, and hopefully you don’t have to tap them on the shoulder to be able to pass them. If you are listening to music and are zoned out, don’t get upset if a runner has to tap you or yell to pass you.
- Don’t throw litter on the trail– Trail running is part of enjoying nature. As runners, we have to make sure we don’t dispose of rubbish during a run, we have to focus on protecting our environment so we can enjoy trail runs for many years, if too much litter is found after a race, that race could be cancelled.
Run, Smile, and Be Happy!