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In Praise of Running at a Track

Running...it is a great way to exercise but it can get boring no matter where you do it. That is why it is great to mix it up and run in different places and different environments. That is why I headed for the track this morning.

I haven't run on a track since high school and let me tell you it was fun and read on to see why I think it is so great.

Safety:

  • There are no cars on the track, so you don't have to worry about getting hit by an automobile. This one I think is a super plus.
  • There is safety in numbers. Running alone in the dark can be a little scary and there are generally a handful of people running or walking at the track so you can worry less.

Easy on the body

  • Tracks are generally much more forgiving to your joints than pavement and since the impact of running can stress your joints it is nice to give them a break.
  • I find warming up and stretching is just easier at the track. After running a gentle lap, I stop and stretch out my legs and back. Plus there are generally fences to hold onto for balance.

If you want to see the rest of my reasons,

Timing/Interval training

  • You can accurately monitor your pace at the track by timing every lap.
  • Running intervals is so easy at the track - make every third lap a sprint and measure how far you can go before you feel the need to slow down.
  • Running with people around can really bring out your competitive spirit and make you run just a little bit faster. You know the thought, "I am going to pass the dude."

I know that if I just ran on a track I would probably get bored. Boredom seems to be the number one motivation killer, so this is a great way to mix it up. Plus you can really crank your iPod (might not be great for your ears though) while you are running since you don't need to be on the look out for all those pesky cars.

Fit's Tip: If you do all your running on a fancy track with a slight grade, make sure to run in both directions around the track since the angle of the ground can throw off your gait and possibly create an over use injury on one side of your body.

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Join The Conversation
amandasunly amandasunly 8 years
Thing is that we run on a track for our fitness tests - I get so bored that my mind's like, "Stop! Do something else!" and I start walking, which is really bad.
Fitness Fitness 8 years
the clam - I love running outdoors, but I like to mix it up. Running at the track with my heart rate monitor/stop watch is a fun way to do intervals. The watch and timing is key for me. Plus it makes for good people watching and I feel safe there if it is dark.
the-clam the-clam 8 years
How do you keep from getting bored running on a track? 5 miles outdoors goes so quickly, but it seems to drag on forever on a track or a treadmill.
lindalikesyou lindalikesyou 8 years
Oh wow, I never considered running both directions on the track before. From now on I am definitely going to do that in order to prevent any unwanted overuse :]
clairepetrol clairepetrol 8 years
I'm a big fan of my local track. There is a football field in the middle, and teams train there until 10pm every night. This makes it a very safe place to be. Its also got the side benefit of being able to watch hunky men run around in shorts while I work out. And that works a motivator to get me out there!!
greenis81 greenis81 8 years
i agree with all your reasons! the main reason i run at a track is for the safety especially. You can really focus on your workout or think about your day while running without having to be looking over your shoulder to make sure no one is following you! It makes exercise a lot less stressful :)
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