Unless you’ve spent a little of time top top the track you have the right to finding it to it is in a really intimidating place. And also confusing. An extremely confusing.

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I median do friend honestly understand all those marks everywhere? Seemingly put in arbitrarily fashion. As if they room a foreign language.

Let’s begin With A Quiz

So let’s see how well versed you are on the language that the track.

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

So how’d friend fair? Think maybe you should keep reading? Great. Let’s carry out some education.

Bonus Content

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

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How To measure Distance

On a track it’s easy to it is in unsure that how far you ran. Specifically for those united state runners. I average do you measure in non-metric units favor feet, miles, inches, etc? Or metric units favor centimeters, meter or kilometers? put me in the former.

So inquiry 1 above, the price is no because a mile is in reality 1609M. 4 laps the the track is 9 meter shorts. No a huge number. However if you’re law a tempo run on the track then it does include up.

To measure street on a monitor you must start backwards. Whatever works indigenous the end up line. Find the finish, then walk “back” to discover the start.

In the instance of the mile, you an initial find the finish, then knowing you room running 9M “longer” 보다 4 laps you must go behind the end up line and also you’ll view a line across all lanes, describe the begin of the mile.

It’s from over there you operation 9M come the “finish” climate 4 more laps and voila. You simply ran an moral mile.

What around question 3? A metric mile is 1500M (though difficult core monitor athletes might argue otherwise). For this reason in that instance you need to relocate “ahead” that 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 external of roadway one means running further. It’s why in a gyeongju you may see twenty plus civilization all trying to cram right into lane one.

No, they room not trying come bond. No one unaware there are 6 or seven an ext perfectly an excellent lanes vast open. Fairly they room trying to run the race distance. No longer.

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


Ever wonder why you are so lot slower top top the track than the roads? ns bet it’s due to the fact that you’re running exterior of roadway 1. In various other words friend are likely running the very same pace, maybe even faster. You’re simply running further however assuming less.


Which brings us to our following vitally crucial topic. Etiquette. Correct there are rules on a track. Unwritten and often the resource of confrontation. Usually just words exchanged.

So we recognize the prominence of lane one. Everyone need to in roadway one. However only in ~ the respect of others.

Walking in roadway one is good if nobody else is ~ above the track. Or if others space on the track only while nobody is near you. Or if you space a slow runner, climate you should either continue to be out of lane one as soon as busy or be aware of rather if no busy.

Why? since it’s basic to gain hurt top top the track. Simple to run right into a slow runner. Despite it might sound inflated, to trust me it’s not. I’ve run into human being before. And also been operation into.

The bottom line is you must respect roadway one. If who is comes up ~ above you, running faster, then move to a lane exterior of whereby they are. So if you room in roadway 1, and also a runner is coming up on you, move to roadway 3 or 4. Provide them the possibility to safely pass (on your left side) and also then you have the right to move ago in.

What are All Those Marks

Those marks room not random. There’s a method to their madness.

So a track is 400M around for one lap. A 200M gyeongju then would begin exactly fifty percent way around. A 600M race would begin in the same ar right? Yes. You’d run 200M come the “finish” then another 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 2 laps come completion.

Those are rather easy. However what about the turns? What shows up to have been a group of kids experimenting with spray paint on a Friday night is noþeles but. Over there too, a strategy is at hand.

Those markings room for relays. Psychic the 4 by 100M relay in the Olympics or various other televised track meets? each member of the relay functions in a “zone.” in ~ this region the baton have the right to be touch by two world simultaneously.

The person passing the baton to the human receiving it. Exterior of the zone only one have the right to be touching. Failure to pass within the region properly method you space disqualified.

So unless you racing the “4 through 1” it’s safe to say, the vast bulk of us can forget about those marks.

What carry out I Wear


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

Other choices are one of two people flats (lightweight roadway shoes essentially) or “spikes.” Flats space typically best worn just for the workout. So execute your “warm up and cool down” in your road shoes. Switching to her flats just for the workout.

The very same is true through spikes. Which are essentially as minimalist as friend can obtain with steel spikes screwed in. But here’s the necessary note. Due to the fact that tracks space not cheap to install. Definition the strong director, coach, and so on wants come make certain it’s properly used.

You should wear the right size spike. For instance if the track only allows 1/8th inch spikes and you wear 1/4 inch then friend are most likely damaging the track. And also it’s no a issue of “getting caught.”

It’s an ext being respectful. And also making sure the monitor is there for you and also everyone else because that years come come.

For more on footwear, please read how To decide If racing Flats room For You.

How about A Race

So as well as doing workouts, don’t shy away from a monitor race. Sure it’s intimidating. Yet only till you hear the total fire. After the it’s yes, really awesome.

And you’ll realize monitor athletes are as inviting as roadway runners. Granted a little more attitude purely since of the strongness of the race. However the same, good, down to earth civilization on the road. After every they also run the roads.

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

An honor system if you will. Wherein you calculation your end up time and “heats” or races are selected based on comparable times. Therefore don’t lie.

I’d run my gyeongju or two. Then after the elites would come in. Frequently those make the efforts to operation trial qualifiers in various distances. A who’s that of elites. It to be cool.

There’s also races for seniors. In truth you’ll often find a lot of seniors racing the track.

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