Calculators > TRACK
 
NOTE: If a red "Java Enabled" does not appear at right between the arrows --> <--, you MUST change your browser settings to enable Java/JavaScript in order to use this calculator.
 
Have you ever been frustrated by having to use the outer lanes of the local high school or college track. You know what you want to do in Lane 1 but are not sure how to adapt your plan to the outer lanes. You could give up on using the track, you could bully your way onto Lane 1, OR you could use our Track Calculator to develop confidence in using any lane of the track for almost any workout. With this Calculator, you can easily perform the following functions:
FUNCTION - example question that can be answered by the function
  convert distance to laps - How many laps must I complete to cover 5 miles in Lane 8?
  convert laps to distance - How far did I go if I just completed 12 1/2 laps in Lane 3?
  convert pace to lap time - What lap time in Lane 5 equates to a 6-minute/kilometer pace?
  convert lap time to pace - What was my mile/kilometer pace if my lap time in Lane 1 was 2:35?
  compare lane lap times - How do lap times vary by lane if moving at the same mile pace?
 
If you have questions about the calculator and its calculations, please see See NOTE 1 and the other notes for answers. If your workouts are on a track that has an odd shape (e.g., curves are not circular arcs), please see NOTE 2 before proceeding. Otherwise, let's get right to the Calculator.
 

               
CALCULATOR       If you find an error, please click here.
 
To begin, you must do Steps 1-3 to enter (or verify) the correct information for the track being used.
Frequently-used values have been pre-entered in all three steps. Change them only if required.
Step 1. ENTER THE TRACK SIZE (i.e., the distance covered when completing one lap - normally in Lane 1) and select the unit of measure.
  most outdoor tracks are either 400 meters or 440 yards (4 laps to a mile)
  most indoor tracks are either 200 meters or 220 yards (8 laps to a mile)
See NOTE 3 for determining track size. Also note that a very small number of tracks use a lane other than Lane 1 to define the track size (see NOTE 4). If the size you entered is not based on Lane 1, select the lane number upon which the size is based.
SIZE

UNIT OF MEASURE

BASED ON LANE
Step 2. ENTER THE LANE WIDTH of lanes on the track (they should all be the same width). While the best tracks (IAAF, Olympic, etc.) have lanes that are 1.22m to 1.25m wide, most high school and college tracks have lane widths measured in inches (e.g., 42"). See NOTE 5 for information on how to measure lane width. LANE WIDTH

UNIT OF MEASURE

Step 3. IS THERE A RAISED CURB on the inside of Lane 1 (normally 2" - 2.5" high)? If there is, select "yes." If the inside edge of Lane 1 is defined only by a painted line, select "no." See NOTE 6 for further information about curbs.
Now that you have completed Steps 1 - 3, select a calculation section below, enter the requested parameter(s), and click on the "click here" calculation button for that section. After noting (or printing) the results, enter different parameters for the same calculation or proceed to another calculation section.
 
Drop down to covert .. dist-to-laps .. laps-to-dist .. pace-to-time .. time-to-pace .. lane-vs-lane
SECTION A - CONVERT DISTANCE TO LAPS
 
Enter how far you want to walk or run --> and the unit of measure --> ;
then to calculate the number of laps that must be completed in a given lane to cover the distance entered. The number of laps required in each lane are then displayed below.
LANE 1
LANE 2
LANE 3
LANE 4
LANE 5
LANE 6
LANE 7
LANE 8
For example: You want to cover 5 miles on the track in Lane 8, and need to know how many laps you must complete to do it. To find the answer, enter "5" as the distance and select "miles" as the unit of measure -- then click on the calculation button. The number of laps required to cover 5 miles in Lane 8 appears in the windows labeled "Lane 8." If you want to cover 10 kilometers, enter "10" as the distance and select "kilometers" as the unit of measure -- then click on the calculation button to display the number of laps required.
SECTION B - CONVERT LAPS TO DISTANCE
 
Enter number of laps planned/completed --> (add .25 for 1/4 lap; add .50 for 1/2 lap; etc.);
then to calculate the distance covered in miles (M) and kilometers (K);
LANE 1
LANE 2
LANE 3
LANE 4
LANE 5
LANE 6
LANE 7
LANE 8
For example: You just completed 12 1/2 laps in Lane 3, and need to know how far you traveled. To find the answer, enter "12.5" as the number of laps -- then click on the calculation button. The distance you traveled (in miles and kilometers) appears in the windows labeled "Lane 3."
SECTION C - CONVERT PACE TO LAP TIME
 
Enter the pace in minutes (2-20) --> and seconds (0-59) --> per ;
then to calculate the equivalent lap times and display them below.
LANE 1
LANE 2
LANE 3
LANE 4
LANE 5
LANE 6
LANE 7
LANE 8
For example: You want to walk or run at 6-minute-per-kilometer pace, and need to know what your lap time should be in Lane 5 to go at that speed. To find the answer, enter "6" as the minutes, "00" as the seconds, and select "per kilometer" as the unit of measure -- then click on the calculation button. The Lane 5 lap time required to travel at a 6-minute-per-kilometer pace will appear under the windows labeled "Lane 5."
SECTION D - CONVERT LAP TIME TO PACE
 
Enter the lap time in minutes (0-9) --> and seconds (0-59) --> ;
then to calculate your pace per Mile (/M) and per Kilometer (/K) in all lanes.
LANE 1
LANE 2
LANE 3
LANE 4
LANE 5
LANE 6
LANE 7
LANE 8
For example: Your lap time in Lane 1 was 2:35, and you want to know at what pace you were walking. To find the answer, enter "2" as the minutes and "35" as the seconds -- then click on the calculation button. Your mile and kilometer pace will appear in the windows labeled "Lane 1."
SECTION E - COMPARE LANE LAP TIMES
 
Enter lap time in minutes (1-9) --> , seconds (0-59) --> , and reference lane -->
then to calculate the equivalent times in the other lanes. Note that the time you entered will appear in the window below the lane number you entered.
LANE 1
LANE 2
LANE 3
LANE 4
LANE 5
LANE 6
LANE 7
LANE 8
For example: You normally walk or run a lap in Lane 1 in 2:10, and need how what your lap time should be in the other lanes if you are going at the same speed. To find the answer, enter "2" as the minutes, "10" as the seconds, and "1" as the reference lane -- then click on the calculation button. The equivalent lap times for Lanes 2 - 8 will appear in the windows (as will the time you entered in the window marked "Lane 1"). Note that any lane can be used as the reference lane.
NOTES:
 
NOTE 1 - GENERAL: All conversions to and from the metric system are based on 1 foot equaling .3048 meters. For lap and pace time entries, no entry in the minutes or seconds box is considered to be a zero. All pace times are shown in whole seconds where .5 seconds or higher is rounded up to the next higher second. All lap times are shown in tenths of a second where .05 seconds or higher is rounded up to the next higher tenth of a second.
 
NOTE 2 - TRACK SHAPE: This calculator is only accurate on tracks that are circular, or which consist of 2 or more straightaways connected by curves that are arcs of a circle. For tracks of other shapes, the calculations will be only reasonable approximations -- though very useable for most people.
 
NOTE 3 - TRACK SIZE: Tracks are defined by the distance traveled during one circuit of the primary lane (usually Lane 1). For example, a "400-meter track" usually indicates that one lap in Lane 1 covers 400 meters. The size of the track should be available from the office of the athletic staff that operates the track, and may be available from people who regularly use the track (though caution should be exercised in taking their word for it).
        One indicator of a 400-meter outdoor track or 200-meter indoor track is the presence of only one arced starting line. On 440-yard outdoor tracks and 220-yard indoor tracks, other arcs appear beyond the main starting arc and are marked as the 200-meter (indoor) or 400-meter (outdoor) starting lines.
        One simple method for measuring a track is to rent a surveyor's wheel from a local equipment rental agency for a few hours (or borrow one if possible) and actually measure the length of Lane 1. After resetting the measurement counter to zero, roll the wheel along a path 20cm or 8" out from the inside line of Lane 1 (30cm or 12" out from a curb) for about three laps and divide the total reading by the number of laps measured. If needed, multiply feet by .3048 to obtain the average distance in meters. Most outdoor tracks are 400 meters (1312' 4") or 440 yards (1320' 0" or 402.336 meters). Most indoor tracks are 200 meters (656' 2") or 220 yards (660' 0" or 201.168 meters). If your own measurement is fairly close to one of these numbers, you can probably assume the track is of a standard size. As an example, a 3-lap test with my wheel yielded an average lap length of 1309' 8" (or 399.19 meters) for a 400-meter track with no curb. The difference comes from a combination of a less-than-perfect wheel, my measuring the curves at more or less than 20cm from the inside line, and some weaving as I tried to maintain the 20cm separation. (Using the same wheel to measure the width of all six lanes yielded an average lane width right at 42".)
 
NOTE 4 - REFERENCE LANE VARIATIONS: A very few tracks are defined by the length of a lap in a lane other than Lane 1. This practice often reflects the placement of a track in a very confined space, and most often appears with indoor tracks. In such cases, the "reference" lane usually serves as Lane 1 during a track competition, and the inner lanes are usually considered as practice lanes. When using this calculator for such tracks, enter the number of the "reference" lane when entering the track size and the calculator will properly calculate the distance around all outer (longer) lanes and inner (shorter) lanes.
        It should be noted that the width of the inner "practice" lanes on such a track might be of a different width than the outer "official" lanes. If this is the case, this calculator will be valid only (1.) for the inner lanes plus the "reference" lane (if the width of the inner lanes is entered), OR (2.) for the "reference" lane plus the outer lanes (if the width of the outer lanes is entered). In either case, the track size (which refers to the "reference" lane) and number of the "reference" lane should be entered above in setting the track size. On such tracks, there is a curb only if it exists on the inside of the "reference" lane.
 
NOTE 5 - LANE WIDTH: A lane's width includes the width of one AND ONLY ONE line defining the lane (as illustrated below). The lane width on the track should be available from the office of the athletic staff that operates the track, or can be measured with a measuring tape. If hand measured, it is recommended that you measure the width of 3-5 middle lanes (including the width of the same number of lines) and divide by the total by the number of lanes measured. Note that a metric width of 1.22 meters (48.03") is very close to the width of a 48" lane, and you may not be able to (or care to) discern the difference.
 

 
It is recommended that you NOT use the inner or outer lanes to make your lane measurements because the inside line (or curb) of Lane 1, and the outside line of the outer lane, may not be the same width as the lines between two lanes. The widths of the inside-most and outside-most lines are apparently not critical to the proper layout of a track.
        Per standards of track design, all calculations are based on a person walking a path 20 centimeters (about 8 inches) from the line defining the side of the lane nearer the center of the track EXCEPT in Lane 1 of a track with a curb where a person is considered to be walking a path 30 centimeters (about 12 inches) from the curb. See illustration below where the dotted line is the person's walking path.
 
 
NOTE 6 - CURBS: By the rule book, curbs are 5cm (2") wide and 5cm (2") high -- or 6.5cm (2.5") high if raised to permit water to drain under it. They are installed to help insure that an athlete does not follow a path inside of Lane 1 during a race.

 
I want to thank Dr. Wayne Armbrust for his technical help in my preparation of this Web page. Wayne is the president of Computomarx, a firm that provides track and field products and consulting services -- including support for the proper marking of track surfaces. For more information about Computomarx, go to www.computomarx.com. Please note, however, that any errors in the text on, or calculations made by, this Web page are solely my responsibility as the Webmaster.
 

 
FOUND AN ERROR?
This page is intended to serve walkers and runners, novices and world-class athletes -- anyone who uses a track. If you find ANY errors (however minor) in the narrative, assumptions, parameters, or calculations of this Web page, please e-mail me using the Contact Us page. Comments and suggestions are also most welcome.
 
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