The track can be quite a daunting place with sprinters strutting their stuff and milers bounding round at a pace that most of us can only dream of! However, getting onto the track to do some threshold or speed work can be very useful. The track is an accurately measured course and provides a very effective way of measuring your times over various distances.
Remember, you have as much right as all the quicker runners to be out on the track, so don’t feel intimated or put off. The track generally measures 400metres, but only from the inside lane and that’s the reason why everyone wants to use it. There is a track etiquette that you should follow:
Run on the inside lane only when you need to and move a few lanes out when recovering.
If the track is busy with faster runners, do your repeats on an outer lane.
Each lane you move out will add 1.5 to 2 seconds to your time per lap. For example, running in lane 3 for an 800-meter interval, your time could be anything up to 8 seconds slower. Just accept that this is the case and get on with your workout
Always run counterclockwise – no one is 100% sure of the origin of this rule, but it just is, so keep it that way. Some suggest it’s because most of us are right-leg dominant so running counterclockwise means you take longer strides with your right-leg, allowing for more propulsion and speed on the turns. Others suggest that as the heart is on the left side, running anticlockwise makes the centrifugal force in the body act from left to right, and this is better for the heart
Never suddenly change lanes or stop. Look around to make sure you aren’t cutting someone off before you change lanes
If a runner is coming up behind and yells “track”, they are asking for the right of way. Move to the outside lane if there’s time, otherwise, let them pass on the outside of yo
Don’t undercut a runner, always pass them on the outside.
Follow these simple rules and get out and enjoy running on your local track, it’s a great place to workout.