Here are my 3 top benefits of running on the track and how it doesn't have to be a scary place for any runner!

Benefits of Training on the Track

Running on a track can be quite a daunting thing; you rock up, and the orange asphalt is almost staring at you in the face as if to say, ‘This is going to be a rollercoaster, and it’s right, running on a track is something completely different to anything else, the same goes for trail, road, mountains and boggy grass. The surface we run on makes a massive difference to how we feel when we run. How does track make you feel? For me, it means I’m running faster.

You’ll build mental resilience.

Let’s face it, running round and round a 400m running track can play havoc on your mental strength; if you’re a trail runner that’s used to beautiful landscapes as you run, this is going to feel like a very very dull run for you, in my personal experience when I see and run on the track all I can think about is running faster and faster. I completely ignore the landscape around me.

Once you have finished a gruelling track session, you’ll get a tremendous sense of euphoria knowing that you’ve run your warm-up, completed a tough session and run your cool down all on the same track. There is something to be said about just getting your head down and getting a session done, but make sure you enjoy it simultaneously!

It’s easier to measure your workouts.

When you’re on the road, you have to look at your watch constantly for how far you’ve run for your effort. You have a fantastic luxury on the track in that it is a fully measured 400m loop, so it takes the guesswork out of your session.

Here are a few sessions to try:

- 8 x 400m with 90 seconds of recovery

- 4 x 1km with 2 minutes recovery

- 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 200, all with 2 minutes of recovery.

- A 20-minute tempo run: You might think, “are you crazy?!” Nope, you can get a real benefit from running your tempo runs around the track. It’s controlled, flat and measurable the next time you run on the same course.

Training with others becomes less disjointed.

Because there is only 400m to run, a club session can be beneficial because you are all tackling the same session together on the same surface, and everyone is all pretty close together. There may be times when you get lapped or lap others, but that’s all part of the track process; everyone is running the same distance and effort together on the same running track. Some just run faster than others, and that’s completely okay!

The great thing about running on the track in a group is that straight after the first effort, you almost know whom you will stick with for most of the session, and you can work together to get through.

These are just a few benefits of running on a track, and I feel like the track brings the best out of me as a runner. I feel like I can run faster, with better form and with just the session on my mind. I hope this gives you valuable insight into how much track running can change your running world!

written by

Marcus Sladden

Digital Marketing Executive from Norwich

Age group: Open

Coach: Self Coached

Strength Training marathon Functional Training 10k half marathon track & field