How Many Turns Does a Track Have?

In lane 2, four laps around a normal outdoor track are 1.01 miles, while in lane 1, four laps are 0.99 miles. When you run in lanes that are farther from the middle of the track, you run a little bit further. For example, 1.13 miles is equal to four laps in lane 8.

A mile is the same as 1,609 metres, which is the same as 5,280 feet. Most outdoor tracks are made so that the inner lane (called lane 1) is exactly 400 metres long, which is 1,312.3 feet. The standard width of a track lane is 1.22 metres, so the length of a lap goes up by about 7.67 metres, or 25 feet, for every lane away from the centre.

On nonstandard tracks, it takes some work to figure out how many laps are in a mile. Walk around the track once and count how many steps you take. To find the length of one lap in feet, multiply the stride length, which is about 2.25 feet, by the number of paces.

Divide 5,280 feet by the length of a lap to figure out how many laps are in one mile. If the result is not a whole number, round up to the next whole number if the decimal part is 0.5 or more, and round down if it is less than 0.5.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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