The short answer for the question “how many laps around a track is a mile?” is 4 laps. But let’s keep reading to know the formula for this measurement.
Track workouts are always considered one of the best additions to your running plan, no matter if you are trying to just enhance your conditioning or want to run faster 5K. Nevertheless, if you want to get the most out of your track workout, it is important to know the exact number of miles you have run as well as how far you are running in reality.
So, in this article, I have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you know “how many laps around a track is a mile?”. This way, you are able to understand and calculate how far you have run each time you are training on the track.
Table of Contents
Let’s Start with a Quiz: A Guide To Running Track Measurement
So, before we move into the real distance of running one lap around a standard running track, let’s first start with a small quiz and see how well you know the track terminology. By doing this, you will also have an overview of laps, miles, and running track.
Question 1: Is running three laps around the 400-meter track equivalent to a mile?
Question 2: Does running 7 laps in lane 3 correspond to two miles?
Question 3: Is a straightway really 100-meter long?
Question 4: Do all lanes of a track have the same distance?
Question 5: Is a “metric mile” equal to 1500M?
The answers for questions from 1 to 5 are no, yes, yes, no, and yes, respectively.
So, what are your answers? If you got more wrong answers than right ones, it is important for you to keep reading and get a better understanding of running track measurement.
Now, let’s learn about how many laps one mile around a track is.
How Many Laps Around A Track Is A Mile?
While many people (most in imperial system nations) measure their distance in miles and feet, almost all standard outdoor circuits and tracks use the metric system and are more likely to be 400 meters long. As such, this can be a little bit frustrating if you only want to run a mile.
Generally speaking, lap times depend much on the type of track you are running. For those who don’t know, The standard outdoor running track is exactly 400 meters from the interior most lane.
Because a mile is 1600 meters, four laps around one standard running track would equal one mile.
Generally speaking, the width of the standard running track is divided into 8 different lanes. However, only lane 1, the innermost lane, is 400 meters long. And the farther you go out of lane 1, the longer the distance will be.
So, if you don’t want to make things complicated, simply stick to the innermost lane or lane 1.
What’s more, the 400-meter long standard track is perfect for running intervals or practicing at a steady pace.
According to Runner’s World, Here are other measurements:
- 100 meters: the length of one straightaway
- 800 meters: about half mile or 2 laps around the track
- 1600 meters: about 1 mile or 4 laps around the track
How Many Laps Around A Track is a Mile– The Accurate Numbers
Let’s get into the accurate number, which is also the answer to the question “how many laps around a track is a mile?”.
As you might know, one mile is equivalent to 1,609 meters, which is approx. 5,280 feet. And almost all standard outdoor running tracks are typically designed so that lane 1 (the innermost lane) is precisely 400 meters that are around 1,312 feet. What’s more, the track distance usually increases with each length.
The standard width of each track lane is 1.22 meters. So, for each off-center lane, the lap length increases by around 7.67 meters (or 25 feet). As such, the distance you have run in lane 8 will be 453 meters.
This is the reason why you need to do some math if you want to get the exact track running distance measurement. However, it doesn’t take so much to decide how many laps you will need to finish around the running track to complete a mile.
How To Measure Distance
It is completely normal not to know for sure how far you have run on a track, typically for American athletes or runners. What I mean is if they really measure their running distance in non-metric units, such as miles, feet, inches, etc. Or do they usually use metric units, such as meters, centimeters, kilometers?
As you know, a mile is exactly 1609 meters. So, four laps of the running track will be 9 meters. While this is not a huge number, it will add up if you are practicing a tempo run on the running track.
In the Athletics track events, you will need to find the finish line first, then discover that you are running 9 meters “longer” than 4 laps that you need to get to the finish line. As such, you are more likely to see a line on all lanes showing the starting of the mile. However, you just run exactly one mile in reality.
In a nutshell, you need to start backward if you want to measure your running distance. This is because everything just works from the finish line. So, complete the finish first, then go back to find out the start.
Below are some instances of getting you on the right track:
100 meters – This is the length of each straight track and also the shortest distance for an outdoor sprint.
200 meters – This is a half lap around one outdoor running track.
400 meters – A lap around the track or about a quarter of a mile.
600 meters – Is half of a lap followed by a full lap.
800 meters – Two laps around a standard track or around half a mile.
1200 meters – Three laps around the track or three-quarters of a mile.
1600 meters – Four laps around the track or approx. one mile.
You can also use these apps to track your distance:
- Strava https://www.strava.com/
- MapMyRun http://www.mapmyrun.com/
- Runkeeper https://runkeeper.com/
- Asics Runkeeper https://www.asics.com/de/de-de/mk/runkeeper
- Adidas Runtastic https://www.runtastic.com/de/
- Nike Run Club https://www.nike.com/de/nrc-app
- Under Armour MapMyRun https://www.mapmyrun.com/app
Not All Lanes Are Equal
It is true and commonly known that not all lanes are created equal. Some people also assume that running outside of lane 1 is equal to running further. That’s why you can see more than 20 people trying to get into lane 1 in a race.
No, they are not trying to link or connect together. Also don’t know that there are 6 or 7 more ideal lanes wide open. Rather, they are more likely to run the race distance.
Again, not all lanes are designed equal.
The further you run from the interior lane, the farther you are running to finish one lap. But, how long is exactly each lap? Let’s check the following track distance by lane. These are the standard lengths of track lanes, which makes it easier for those who don’t want to calculate manually.
Lane 1: 400.0 meters
Lane 2: 407.7 meters
Lane 3: 415.3 meters
Lane 4: 423.0 meters
Lane 5: 430.7 meters
Lane 6: 438.3 meters
Lane 7: 446.0 meters
Lane 8: 453.7 meters
So, if you have ever wondered how many laps a track is a mile or any other running track distances, this article absolutely helps you. In conclusion, 1 mile is around 1600 meters or also equals 4 laps around a track.