If you find the track an attractive, but sort of a scary place to work out, fear no more! Here is everything you need to know about training on the 400-meter oval.
However scary, it can also be truly inspiring to be running in a place where so many great’s have ran before you. I addition, running on a track and timing yourself gives extremely honest feedback on your pace and state of fitness.When you are running on the treadmill the machine basically keeps the pace for you, but on the track it takes a lot more mental effort to keep your pace due to a firm surface and resisting wind and weather conditions. A GPS may not be exactly accurate and the different treadmills are calibrated differently to speed, but the track never lies.
Track etiquette for the new kid on the block
- Look left and right before crossing a lane.
- Free-way rules: Keep to the right and let the faster runners use the inner lanes. I f you are just doing some easy jogging or even walking, keep to the very far right lane. However, there rules may vary around the world, so look for what other runners are doing. At Bislett Stadium the outer lanes are the faster lanes, for example.
- In on most arenas using headphones is definitely frowned upon, because you can’t hear if someone is approaching you in high speed and need you to get out of the way. Just be respectful of the fact you may be training on the same track as professional athletes and they are actually at work when they’re training. Another aspect is that tuning is on what is going on with you and around you is good, focused mental practice.
- If you want to run right, run left: Always run counter clockwise (to the left, that is)
- If there are a lot of people running today and you are lapped, move to the third lane.
- Pay attention to other runners when you are starting and stopping, and get out of the lanes if you are not moving in the counter clockwise direction at all.
- No animals allowed.
- Be nice to people and have fun!
Here are some pointers to take into account when you are new to the track:
Tracks are challenging to run on and the ground reaction forces are large, so do a propper warm-up of 15-20 minutes, finishing off with some strides, that are bursts of speed work for about 60-90 seconds to let you heart rate increase and get your muscles fibers firing.
You don’t go to the track do train easy. The you might as well run anywhere else. So plan you work-out and enter the arena with your mind sett on gutting it out.
As I just said, you and everyone else are there to slay the session so there is no need for disturbing chatter around the lane, unless you are cheering or pacing someone.
Start “easy” finish strong
To keep your goal pace start out conservatively, because you’ll be fatigued soon enough, believe me! I suggest you try out something like the session I’m sharing in my next post in order to get a feel for this finish-strong concept.
Now, you should be ready for the track, so don’t worry and run happy!
PS: If you live in Oslo I recommend the NIH- or Bislett tracks they are open to everyone!