My rule is that whoever's running faster should get the inside lane. You can do it without being a jerk either. Yell track to let him know you're coming and then thanks when you pass by. The fact is a lot of people haven't had the chance to learn track etiquette and aren't aware it's a problem if they're walking in lane 1.
"Track!" is standard, but if they're total newbs, it may just be confusing and startling. Perhaps, "Please keep lane one open for people that are timing themselves," might be a better lesson, and if they look peeved at all say, "It's universal track etiquette."
These days I just pass them on the outside and don't worry about it. I nearly got into a fistfight a few years ago, when I tried yelling "track" a couple of times, and when that didn't work, passed kind of close by. On the next lap the guy turned around and stepped right in front of me with his dukes up. WTF?!?
Now the worst part of finding slow runners on the inside is getting all pissed off in my mind and having to deal with the adrenaline overflow for the rest of my workout. So I try to be zen about it.
I agree with Fun'k, and I also want to punch Tom.
While the introvert in me cringes at the idea of approaching a stranger on a potentially contentious topic, the adult thing to do is just jog up to the person and say, "hey, do you mind walking in one of the outside lanes? You may not know this, but it's worldwide track etiquette to leave the inside lane for faster runners."
My tweak on Fun'k's suggestion is that the asking instead of telling makes it their choice to leave the inner lane, then hopefully referencing the etiquette creates a social norm that they will not want to break.
Sometimes telling another person what to do doesn't get them to do it, because you're taking their power of choice away. By asking them to do it and stating why they would want to, they maintain their power of choice.
Hey, not me. I'm Mr. Cool now. That was a lesson in what not to do.
Anyone more interested in a phone than actual running - especially whilst on a running track - should be at home on the couch. Stop bothering the rest of society with your lack of awareness of anything outside the phone.
Our local HS track has big signs on the gate entrance announcing the etiquette. Lanes 1 and 2 are for racers, 3,4,5 for runners/joggers, 6,7,8 for walkers. It then gives the lap distance for each lane and how many laps to a mile though it is a 400m track.
When I have used it there has never been anyone on it though, with a girls lax game on today, I used other fields.
I think Lane 1 should be permanently closed except for race day. Tracks cost a lot of money and wearing them out prematurely doesn't make sense. The headphoned masses surely have a GPS - what do they think they are achieving in lane 1? People doing intervals (100 - 1000) should be able to work out where to start and finish from the track markings and do it in lanes 3-9. Of course that depends on at least one of those lanes being clear.
I'd seriously question the wisdom of doing longer intervals than 1km on a track, particularly if wearing spikes. That's asking for injury as well as being incredibly boring.