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Friday Fitness: “Track” your Training

walking on trackYou don’t need the lengthy expanse of sidewalks and trails on Hilton Head Island in order to be active outside. Head to a local track for your cardio workout!  You can find access to a track either at a high school, college, or recreation center. Most are open to the public in afterschool hours (not a problem during summer vacation!) and on weekends. The track is a great environment to vary up your workout, build up speed, and get fit along with other local exercisers.

Some people are intimidated by the idea of a track workout. Where do I begin? Do I have to wear those funny spiky shoes and jump over hurdles? Nope!

Listed below are a few track workouts, bring them along and attack the track with no fear!

Start with a 5 to 15 min. warm up of light jogging or walking around the track. Remember that one lap around the inside lane is 400 meter.  4 laps = 1 mile. During warm up or if you are walking, move to the outer lanes to allow those doing speed work to have the inside lane. But remember that the outside lanes can be up to 50 meters longer, so plan accordingly!   

400 Meter Repeats

This is a popular track workout to build up speed and stamina. 400 meters is one full lap around the track. Run one lap around the track at you 5K race pace. Recover for 2 minutes with a light jog, and then repeat. Do this activity 8 to 10 times.


Ladders are a combination of different distances when put together gradually increase and then decrease. They are great to do on the track because it is easy to measure out the distance. An example of a ladder workout would be to run a 200(a straight and curve), 400(one full lap), 800(two laps), 400, 200. Even though the distances are different, try to keep the same pace for each. Performing this ladder twice will result in 2.5 miles.  This is a great way to split up your distances.  

Run the Straights

This is as simple as it sounds but a great way to add some intervals into your training. Pick up the pace and run the straight portion of the track and use the curves as a recovery.  8 laps around the track is 2 miles and a great starting point for this workout.

Strides on the Infield

Strides are short bursts of speed. The goal is to increase the heart rate through a quick turn over of the legs. If there is even grass (no holes!) on the infield do your strides there. You can even take off your shoes and embrace the barefoot running craze. These should be done at about 90% of your maximum effort. Stride down the field and lightly jog back. Repeat about 4 to 6 times.

Whether you are looking to build up speed and stamina, refresh your cardio workout, or just soak up some summer sunshine, take it to the track!

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