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Posted: September 29, 2011
A brief description of track do's and don’ts:
- If you have the track to yourself, do whatever you want
- If you are sharing the track, you should generally run counter-clockwise
- Move to the outside lane for walking or recovery jogging
What happens in the inside lanes vary a bit by location and by the group working out. At some tracks, slower runners yield Lane 1, the innermost lane, to faster runners and are expected to get out of the way if an approaching runner yells "TRACK!” At other tracks and during more organized "club" workouts, anyone running at pace has the right to the inside lane, and faster runners pass slower runners exclusively on the outside, as in a race. This places the obligation of moving on the runner with the best view of the situation.
Here's another list of rules suggested on the track forum:
- Always look "up-track" (toward where runners would come from) before stepping onto the track. ALWAYS.
- You should not drift outward to prevent someone from passing.
- If you are going to be lapped, it is courtesy (though not strictly required except where mandated by meet directors) to move out to lane 2 and allow the faster runners to pass, if you can do so without impeding their progress (i.e. waiting until they're too close).
- Warm-ups, cool downs and all running where strict distance measurement is not required should be done in outer lanes (not 1 and preferably not 2) in order to lessen wear and tear on the track.
- If two or more groups are doing workouts on the track at the same time, give right-of-way to the faster group. They cannot stop or move quickly enough to avoid a collision if a slower runner suddenly stops or changes lanes in front of them. This is a matter of safety, not of one group being more important than the other.
- If you are in the faster group, be considerate to the slower runners. If workouts allow, each group should consider negotiating a set of lanes, so both groups can work out together smoothly.
- Never socialize on the track when other runners are present. Move it to the infield.
- When other groups are working out on the track, don't run 3-4 abreast and dominate the track. If others must pass you, it is very inconsiderate. Run in a line (this applies to sidewalks too).
Standard outdoor tracks are 400 meters around in the inside lane. For most training purposes, that's equivalent to 1/4 mile (440 yards).
Four laps on a standard track make 1600 meters. 1600 meters is 5249 feet - 31 feet short of a mile. To run a mile on standard track, you need to run four laps and an additional 31 feet. Many runners consider four laps to be the equivalent of a mile.