Running on country roads

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30/07/2009 at 15:11


I've mostly done town/city running but I'm branching out into the country for my hill training.

Just wondering if it's safer to run on the left or right of the narrow country road?


30/07/2009 at 15:14

You should run facing the on-coming traffic - ie. on the right-hand side of the road, unless it's on a bend where that would be dangerous.

30/07/2009 at 15:15

Hiya RS

General rule of thumb is to run against the traffic, i.e. facing oncoming traffic.

Cross country is an awesome run, enjoy.

30/07/2009 at 15:15
Don't run too often on ones that are that narrow, but believe it best to run on the right, that way you can see whats coming better - but be prepared to have to dive into the odd hedge to get out of the way as country lane drivers are just as bad as city drivers.
30/07/2009 at 15:15
Normally tun on the right so you can see the traffic that will be passing on your side of the road. On blind corners consider crossing for better visability. 
30/07/2009 at 15:18
I run pretty much exclusively on small country roads, some almost single track roads, I try and run facing the oncoming traffic, but on bends I like to run on the outside of the bend so I can see round the corner.
30/07/2009 at 15:23

Cheers everyone.

Yeah I've be going on the right but I wasn't feeling too sure about going round blind bends on that side.

I saw a goat trying to start a fight with a cow the other day while I was out...which was a bit different from the usual town sights

30/07/2009 at 15:26
It's pretty much a zig-zag job, R-S. The best bet is just to make sure you have the best chance of people seeing you.
30/07/2009 at 15:32

Goats can be feisty little buggers.  I like them tho'. 

Are you running on road much Scamp?  I just wondered because if you're in the country anyway, you could run on public footpaths rather than dicing with traffic.

30/07/2009 at 15:34
I tend to zig-zag too, but not because of the traffic, because of the horrendous camber that you seem to get on small country roads.
30/07/2009 at 15:44

Hi Parklife,

I'm doing about 30-35 miles a week on the road at the minute. Training for a half in October. I live in Derry, in the city itself. I'm pretty bored with the same routes so I've started going out of town into the surrounding hills. Basically I thought I'd freshen things up and get good hill training at the same time. Been doing a couple of 6-8 mile country runs over the last 2-3 weeks.

I have to say I really enjoy the peace and quiet even though I kinda spoil the tranquility wheezing and gasping as I plod along.

30/07/2009 at 15:50

Make sure you wear hi-viz. Don't assume that drivers will see you cos they won't and you'll end up having to dive into a ditch.

Bet you get addicted to country running when you get the hang of it. Get off road if you can too, and then you'll have to get a dog to run with you and then your life will be complete. 

PS: cows and squirrels don't care if you wheeze.

30/07/2009 at 15:55
Good luck with the half Scamp.  Maybe after it's done you could get off road and not have to deal with traffic.  Hills are so much more 'interesting' with grass, rocks, roots etc underfoot aren't they?
30/07/2009 at 16:00
Running in the countryside is awesome, especially now there are plenty of blackberries to snack on!
cougie    pirate
30/07/2009 at 16:09
I'm lucky that I dont need to run on roads very much - but when I do - I make sure I'm in Hi Viz and really keep an eye out on traffic.

I see cars driving way too close together and its often the case that the driver behind can only see you when you're 10 feet away.

I also think its best to run out in the road a bit more - so you claim a bit more lane space. If you cower in the hedges then you dont stand out as much and its more of an invitation for drivers to not pull out to pass you.

Lets be safe out there !
30/07/2009 at 16:11
I hate running in the countryside.  Too many potholes and blind corners and I have to keep my music right down so I can hear any cars coming. 
30/07/2009 at 16:16

OK...zig zagging in high viz seems to be the concensus then!

To be honest I'm dying to get off road. I'm going to be doing cross country races this year for the first time. I can't wait!

cougie    pirate
30/07/2009 at 16:20
Are there any footpaths or country parks round by you ? That would be a much nicer and safer bet.
30/07/2009 at 16:25
Got an ordnance survey map the other day so I can explore some footpaths.  I did go in a field the other day and that was better but very slow as the ground's very uneven.
30/07/2009 at 16:29

Agree with Cougie, when running don't get too close into the verge, try and stick out a bit into the road, makes it easier for oncoming traffic to see you early, you can then move over a bit when it passes you.

I run a lot on country roads and find that most drivers will slow down for you and leave plenty of space.  Although it's always exciting when you pass horses and cyclists at the same time as cars, no one ever knows quite who should have priority!!

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