Running Questions - Answers
How far is one lap around a standard track?
Avatar Jen Levito
16 January 2018

How far is one lap around a standard track? I do a lot of my training on a track, so I’m wondering how far it is? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer :
Elizabeth Carlson
19 January 2018

Figuring out how far you ran on a track depends on what kind of track you are running on. A standard, Olympic sized track measures 400 meters around. That means that one lap around this sized track is 400 meters, or a fourth of a mile. So if you're looking to run a mile, or a 1600 meter distance, you'll want to run 4 laps. Olympic sized tracks are the standard, and are most commonly found at high schools, colleges, public tracks, and outdoor recreational facilities. However, it's important to know that this 400 meters around is only measured in lane one, the lane nearest to the inside of the track. Lanes around the outer edge will be farther. If you run on a track, know proper track etiquette. AKA, leave the innermost lane to the speedier runners, (or the cross country or track team, if you are running on a school track and they are practicing while you are running) pass on the left hand side, (not before calling out to the people you are passing that you are approaching) and leave the headphones at home so that you are more cognizant and aware of your surroundings.

If you are unsure, though, if you are running on a standard Olympic sized track, you need to ask the people in charge of your location. In some rare circumstances (especially at tracks located at elementary or middle schools, or indoor tracks) the track you choose to run on may be shorter than just 400 meters around. If distance is your goal, you certainly hope this is not the case because that will mean having to run more loops around than just four to have run a mile. The indoor track at my college gym was much shorter: ten laps equaled a mile. So when the weather outside was bad and I was stuck running indoors, I'd crank out my miles on that short indoor track. It got terribly mind numbing (not to mention, dizzying!) to run that many times in a circle. Check with your particular facility and know your distances before starting your run!

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