Track workouts are an essential part of any triathlete's training plan. They offer a controlled environment to work on speed, intervals, and form. But with multiple runners sharing the space, it's important to be aware of track etiquette to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone, whether you're hammering out interval sessions or working on your race pace.
Here's a guide to the essential rules of track etiquette that every triathlete should keep in mind:
1. Running Direction
2. Lane Usage
3. Passing Etiquette
4. General Courtesy
5. Finding your pace group
Group workouts can be hard, especially when a lot of members attend every week. To make sure we offer the best experience for everyone, we split the group into sub-groups depending on the pace. If you are new to the workouts and are not sure of your group pace, we advise you to join a group at the "slower" end of your pace. If that group seems to be too slow, you are more than welcome to move between groups! We have created the below table as a guide to help you find your group.
|3K / 2 miles
Okay cool, but what does it mean? Let's say, the workout of the day is based on 5K efforts and I know I can run a 5K at a pace of 8:00 min/mile. Then that day, the groups will be divided as follows:
Group 1: anybody that runs 5K at 6:30 mins/mile or faster
Group 2: anybody that runs 5K between 6:30 and 7:30 mins/mile
Group 3: anybody that runs 5K between 7:30 and 8:30 mins/mile
Group 4: anybody that runs 5K between 8:30 and 9:30 mins/mile
Group 5: anybody that runs 5K at 9:30 mins/mile or slower
Based on the above, your ideal pace group would be group 3. Voilà!
6. Understanding RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion)
RPE is a very common scale used in sports, and you will be hearing that word from Mario A LOT! So what does it mean? RPE stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion and is a subjective, real-time assessment of how hard you're working at any given time during a physical activity on a scale of 1-10. Checkout the table below to have an idea of what each level should feel like:
PACE RPE HOW IT SHOULD FEEL RECOVERY 1-3 The effort here should be very relaxed, i.e. a step or two faster than walking or "stupid easy." Go as slow as you need to go without letting your form get sloppy. EASY 3-4 Comfortable running at a conversational pace that helps to improve or maintain general aerobic endurance. At no point of an easy run should you ever feel like you're forcing it or running hard. MARATHON 5-6 This is a steady effort: not easy running but not so hard either that you can't sustain it for a prolonged period of time. Aerobically, marathon effort should not be very challenging but heavy legs are to be expected the longer you go. 1/2 MARATHON 6-7 Comfortably uncomfortable running, i.e. this is somewhat hard work but you also know you have a couple more gears if you needed to tap into them. It takes some focus to maintain 1/2 marathon effort but your breathing is relatively relaxed. At this effort you can speak 2-3 sentences at a time before you need to catch your breath. 10K 7-8 You're working pretty hard here and never really get comfortable. Breathing becomes labored after just a few minutes and it's tough to spit out more than a sentence or two. You really need to focus in order to maintain this level of intensity for 3-6 minutes at a time. 5K 8-9 Now you're really working close to your limit. 5K effort isn't quite all-out sprinting but it takes real work and focus to maintan this level of intensity for 1-3 minutes at a time. Your breathing is labored at this effort level and it's hard to get out more than a few words before needing to catch your breath.
Additional Tips for a Smooth Track Experience:
By following these simple guidelines, you can contribute to a safe and enjoyable environment for all track users. Remember, good sportsmanship and courtesy go a long way towards creating a positive atmosphere for everyone.
Questions or concerns? Email our Run Director at firstname.lastname@example.org