an athlete photographer's blog

Indoor Track Workout

Indoor tracks can be awesome.  For someone who really likes to run outside but hates the treadmill, an indoor track offers a nice alternative when the weather prevents an outdoor run.

Today was exactly that sort of day.  Right now, my class schedule is does not give me enough time in the morning to run so I have to fit it in after class.  This week the afternoons have been in the mid to upper 90s with strong winds and scorching sun.  I haven’t run on an indoor track in awhile so it seemed like a good alternative.


Typically, indoor tracks are less than 1/4 mile which can make running on them tedious.  But if you’re creative or have some good music, you can make it more interesting.  Because most indoor tracks are short (and flat, obviously), it’s a great opportunity to do some speedwork.  I always feel fast because I’m coming back to my starting point in a shorter distance than on your outdoor track.

My favorite workout on the track is one mile repeats with negative splits.

On this particular track, 5 laps = 1 mile.  I used my phone stopwatch to track my overall time and my laps.  The idea is to run each successive mile faster than the one previous.  After each mile, I recorded my times in my notebook, got a drink of water, and walked a single lap.  This was my rest/recovery before the next mile.


I know these aren’t land speed records, but I was fairly pleased.  I haven’t done much speed work in recently.  The last two laps of mile 3, a young college guy ran with me and really pushed me on the final lap — really appreciated the competition :).  Unfortunately, I did not get an accurate time because my phone screen had timed out and I had to put in the code before I could stop the clock.  But I did better than expected and cut almost a whole minute from my first mile and I got a solid 3 miles in.

Now I have a benchmark for this track.  Next time there are thunderstorms or scorching heat keeping me inside, I can repeat the workout and compare times.  No indoor track?  No problem!  This workout is easily taken outdoors or, if worst comes to worst, then on the treadmill. 🙂


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