Demystifying The Track

While some runners grew up with daily track practice after school, for many of us, the track is a foreign and scary place. When all you see are the elite of the world running on TV or high school and college kids running faster than you’d ever hope, it makes the prospect of going to do a workout on the track really intimidating. Does it confound and confuse you? WELL NO MORE.

How long is a lap?
A lap is 400m, approximately ¼ of a mile.

What is a track workout like?
Track workouts are all about going fast, then going slow. Intervals. When you see a description of a workout and it says 12 x 400, that means you’re going to run 400m (again, one lap) 12 times very fast with breaks in between. So you’d basically be running 3 miles really fast but with walking/jogging breaks throughout.

Is everyone there really fast?
There are definitely a lot of fast runners when you get out on the track, but that shouldn’t dissuade you! The only way to get faster is to run faster. At our workouts we have people of all speeds.

Seriously, though.... what if I’m slow?!
Every single person is welcome to come out and run at their own pace, don’t worry about coming in last - we’ll be cheering you across the finish line at any pace.

Tell me about your Summer Sunset Series.
Every Tuesday night in June we’re holding a series of All-Comers meets. These are casual, fun meets where everyone is welcome to come and sign up for a race! It’s meant to be cheap - $2 to run all night - and accessible to all sorts of runners.

I’ve never run in a track meet before!
That’s amazing - and neither had many of us! Come and run your first. Find someone in an East Nashville Track Club shirt and we’ll talk through your questions.

Can my kids race?
YES! We start each meet with a kids 100m dash, and have a kids 200m heat as well. It’s the best.

Do I need special shoes?

What direction do we run?
Counterclockwise… just remember run fast, turn left. Pass on the right during a race. If you’re warming up, leave lane 1 open for faster runners.

Should I warm up before the meet?
Register at 6 and warm up before we start the events at 6:30pm!

How do I know where to stand for each race, and how many laps I do in each race?
Don’t worry! East Nashville Track Club will make sure you’re lined up at the start of each race, and have all the details you need before the whistle blows. For races that are more than one lap around the track (the 800 = 2 laps, 1600 = 4) our volunteers will be counting laps and ring a bell to signal the final lap aka “the bell lap”