Unless you’ve spent a little bit of time top top the monitor you have the right to finding that to be a very intimidating place. And also confusing. Really confusing.

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I average do friend honestly understand all those point out everywhere? Seemingly put in arbitrarily fashion. Together if they space a foreign language.

Let’s begin With A Quiz

So let’s see just how well versed you room on the language the the track.

Question 1: If friend run 4 laps the a 400M track is that equal come a mile?Answer: NoQuestion 2: If friend run four laps in lane 2 that a 400M monitor is that equal to a mile?Answer: NoQuestion 3: Is a “metric mile” 1600M?Answer: No

So how’d you fair? Think possibly you have to keep reading? Great. Let’s execute some education.

Bonus Content

Author of this post, coach and also lover that the track Tony Pallotta share more in this distinct video.

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How To measure up Distance

On a track it’s basic to be unsure that how much you ran. Especially for those us runners. I mean do you measure up in non-metric units like feet, miles, inches, etc? Or metric units prefer centimeters, meters or kilometers? put me in the former.

So concern 1 above, the price is no due to the fact that a mile is actually 1609M. Four laps that the track is 9 meter shorts. No a huge number. But if you’re law a tempo run on the track then it does include up.

To measure distance on a monitor you need to start backwards. Everything works indigenous the finish line. Discover the finish, then go “back” to uncover the start.

In the case of the mile, you very first find the finish, then discovering you room running 9M “longer” 보다 4 laps you should go behind the end up line and also you’ll check out a line across all lanes, denote the start of the mile.

It’s from over there you run 9M to the “finish” climate 4 more laps and also voila. You simply ran an ethical mile.

What about question 3? A metric mile is 1500M (though difficult core monitor athletes may argue otherwise). For this reason in that instance you need to relocate “ahead” of the end up line by how much? Yes, 100 meters. Therefore you space running “100 meter short” that 4 laps or 1600M.

Not all Lanes space Equal

For those non-science people there’s an additional phenomenon. Running outside of lane one way running further. It’s why in a race you may see twenty plus world all trying come cram into lane one.

No, they room not trying to bond. No one unaware over there are 6 or seven much more perfectly good lanes wide open. Rather they space trying to operation the race distance. No longer.

So just how much much longer is every lap? Here’s a graphic to show.


Ever wonder why you space so much slower ~ above the track than the roads? i bet it’s since you’re running exterior of roadway 1. In other words girlfriend are likely running the exact same pace, maybe also faster. You’re just running further however assuming less.


Which brings us to our next vitally important topic. Etiquette. Correct there room rules top top a track. Unwritten and also often the resource of confrontation. Usually simply words exchanged.

So we recognize the importance of roadway one. Everyone need to in roadway one. But only in ~ the respect of others.

Walking in roadway one is good if no one else is on the track. Or if others room on the track just while no one is close to you. Or if you are a slower runner, climate you need to either remain out of lane one when busy or be conscious of rather if not busy.

Why? due to the fact that it’s straightforward to get hurt on the track. Straightforward to run right into a slower runner. Though it might sound inflated, trust me it’s not. I’ve run into civilization before. And been operation into.

The bottom line is you need to respect roadway one. If who is coming up ~ above you, running faster, then move to a lane exterior of where they are. So if you room in roadway 1, and also a jogger is coming increase on you, move to lane 3 or 4. Give them the chance to safely happen (on your left side) and then you have the right to move ago in.

What room All Those Marks

Those marks space not random. There’s a technique to their madness.

So a track is 400M around for one lap. A 200M race then would start exactly fifty percent way around. A 600M race would start in the same location right? Yes. You’d operation 200M come the “finish” then an additional 400M, one lap, and the gyeongju is over.

An 800M race, fifty percent a mile (minus the 4.5 M if you have actually been playing along at home) starts in ~ the “finish” and runs two laps come completion.

Those are rather easy. But what about the turns? What shows up to have actually been a team of kids experimenting through spray repaint on a Friday evening is noþeles but. Over there too, a strategy is in ~ hand.

Those markings space for relays. Mental the 4 by 100M relay in the Olympics or various other televised monitor meets? every member that the relay works in a “zone.” within this zone the baton have the right to be touch by two world simultaneously.

The human passing the baton to the person receiving it. Outside of the zone just one have the right to be touching. Failure to happen within the region properly means you space disqualified.

So uneven you racing the “4 by 1” it’s for sure to say, the vast majority of us can forget around those marks.

What perform I Wear


Aside native “running clothes” clearly stated, let’s talk footwear. Can you wear road shoes top top the track? for sure. And many do.

Other options are either flats (lightweight roadway shoes essentially) or “spikes.” Flats are typically best worn only for the workout. So do your “warm up and also cool down” in your road shoes. Convert to her flats just for the workout.

The very same is true with spikes. Which are essentially as minimalist as you can get with metal spikes screwed in. However here’s the crucial note. Because tracks space not cheap to install. Definition the strong director, coach, and so on wants to make certain it’s properly used.

You need to wear the right size spike. For instance if the track only permits 1/8th inch spikes and you stay 1/4 customs then you are likely damaging the track. And also it’s no a matter of “getting caught.”

It’s much more being respectful. And also making certain the monitor is there because that you and everyone else because that years come come.

For an ext on footwear, please read how To decision If racing Flats are For You.

How around A Race

So aside from doing workouts, don’t shy far from a monitor race. Certain it’s intimidating. However only until you listen the total fire. After the it’s yes, really awesome.

And you’ll realize track athletes space as inviting as road runners. Granted a little much more attitude purely due to the fact that of the soot of the race. Yet the same, good, down to earth human being on the road. After all they as well run the roads.

Many areas have open up track meets. Cultivation up in Boston it was awesome to run the Twilight collection at Northeastern. At 30 I was in racing college and non-college runners. All based on my “seed” time.

An honor system if girlfriend will. Wherein you estimate your finish time and also “heats” or races are selected based on similar times. Therefore don’t lie.

I’d run my race or two. Climate after the elites would come in. Often those make the efforts to operation trial qualifiers in miscellaneous distances. A who’s that of elites. It was cool.

There’s even races because that seniors. In truth you’ll often discover a lot of seniors gyeongju the track.

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So reap a race. Take it in. And though it’s intimidating get through those early stage nerves. And feel the joy of racing the track.