Runner’s Week: Get on ‘track’

It’s Runner’s Week here at and all week we’ll give tips to improve your running workouts. Today we start with answers to four common questions about running on a track:
1. How can I find a track to run on? – A good change of pace from running on your home treadmill, or on streets in your neighborhood, can be to work out on a regulation track.
The tracks at most high schools, and even many colleges, can be used for free by members of the public.
When school is in session the times may be limited. Just go to a track near you and look for signs that explain the usage policies, or call the school’s athletic department if you’re not sure.
2. What are advantages to running on a track? – A track can allow you to get an accurate time for how fast you’re running for say 1 mile, or two miles, etc. It will also be the fastest time possible since a track is flat and fast. It can also be nice to run outside if the weather is nice and also know that the surface is consistent.
3. How can I measure my distance? – One of the nicest things about running on a track is you can measure your distance and time with certainty. One lap around the oval is 400 meters, with four laps equaling a 1,600 meters (approximately 1 mile).
You can set standards for yourself and measure your progress in subsequent runs. Some people like to work out mainly on a treadmill, but then test themselves on the track on occasion.
4. Are there certain track etiquettes I should know about? – If there are no other runners on the track, go ahead and use one of the innermost lanes. However, if there are some runners who are faster than you, give them the inside track and use the outer lanes. Slower movers should stay to othe outside. Pass people on the right-hand side.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at

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