Track running

Sometimes you can't run on the inside lane of a track. So, I want to know how much extra distance you do for each lane out from lane 1? Someone out there must know, please!
I asked someone at the club last night and he said it depends on the shape of the track, so a kind of general answer would be great unless anyone knows the specifics of the Kingsmeadow track in Kingston upon Thames.


  • I don't know myself Womble, but there's a man with an awesome website who does:
  • There was a thread on this sometime ago...perhaps try a search?

    Sorry can't help more other than as Memory Woman!

  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭
    Doh, I've even seen that url! It doesn't have the answer but I've sent the man an e-mail. Also, the track at Kingsmeadow has just been resurfaced so is not 'worn' at all now (unless you count my 25 laps on Saturday).
  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭
    The man just replied! He says about 8 metres per lane. Thanks for the help.
  • Surely it's not dependent on the shape of the track? It's 2*Pi*dR per lane where dR is the width of each lane, isn't it?
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    The easiest way to do this is to measure the width of each lane. Multiply this figure by Pi x 2 or 6.283. That should give you the extra circumference for each lane.

    For example, if the width is 900mm then each lane would add 5.65 m to the length of each lap. Lane 8 would therefore be 45.2m longer than lane 1
  • Yep, I agree with myself. Hooray! But I'm thinking of a track as two semicircles joined by straights. I can't get my head round what would happen if it were elliptical, or some other bizarre shape, but I think it'd still be true...... ?
  • I'm not sure it would - it isn't the same formula for an ellipse as for a circle.

    I think the above maths works for a straight and semi circle track, however long/short the straights are. I'm assuming the two curves make a circle. Whatever the radius the inside lane is, the DIFFERENCE is always the same for the same lane width.

    Must dig out my old A level maths textbook and see if I can figure out the circumference of an ellipse. I can remember the formula for drawing it but that's about it!
  • Just found this web site by typing "lane stagger" into Google.

    Lane Stagger, but it contradicts a lot of what's been said, including that the stagger between lanes is not constant, which doesn't make sens to me, and that the length of the straights does make a difference!
  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭
    Yes, my man at the running club said it depends on the shape of the track, some have longer straights and hence different shape bends. Ooh it's complicated! I wonder if Ron knows....... or RW?
  • I've never ran on a track or done speed sessions on one.More into Roads and Hills.
    How important is all this chat. Is it more a case of keeping things as consistant as possible.i.e if you start your speed session on the outside track try you do the rest on that lane during that session comparing times for each lap etc

    Or is this more important to people who run /race shorter distances.

    I don't know. I suppose it is good to compare times knowing exact distances though
  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭
    Stuart, I agree in general - I was running incredibly consistent laps on Saturday, so it was good for pacing but I didn't know what pace it was! I have another reason for asking in that if I organise sessions of mixed ability on a track, I could use the fact that it's longer round the outside to even up the experience between fast & slow people. And if someone asks how much harder/further it is, then I can tell them.
  • Just looked at the data and the reason why the measurements differ is due to using a straight line to measure the distance to the next start position. This is why the radius plays a part in measuring the distances. If however you used the length of the line on the radius (i.e. not a straight line) then all the measurements would be constant between the lines (assuming constant lane widths).
Sign In or Register to comment.