An indoor track is a great way to get in a walking or running workout away from the weather.
Advantages of Indoor Tracks
- Choose Your Speed: Stroll, speed walk, racewalk, jog or run without feeling out of place as you might in a mall or on the sidewalk.
- Climate Control: No rain, snow, heat or wind.
- Closed Course: You can time yourself as the distance around the track is known and usually posted. You won't have obstacles in your path or traffic lights to slow you down. Indoor tracks designate which direction all must circle, usually alternating days.
- Changing Scenery: While a treadmill provides many of the same benefits as an indoor track, with an indoor track you are actually circling the facility. Many have windows so you can view the scenery or may be above or alongside a pool or sport court so you can watch the action.
- GPS Speed and Distance Monitoring: Because you are moving by changing location continuously, GPS speed and distance monitors may work if they can acquire the satellite inside the building. These do not work on a treadmill because you are not changing location.
- Surface Appropriate for Walking and Running: Properly designed indoor tracks use a surface that is gentle on the joints, as opposed to the concrete surface found inside malls.
- Safety and Security: You won't have any traffic hazards, loose dogs, uneven surfaces or lurking muggers.
- Restrooms, Water and Showers: Almost all indoor track facilities have locker rooms and full amenities.
Drawbacks of Indoor Tracks
- Monotony: The scenery may change a bit but it still may be mind-numbing to circle and circle and circle.
- No Incline: Indoor tracks are level, so you don't get any hill training if you only use an indoor track. To get hill training or increase your heart rate, you may want to leave the track and walk up and down stairs in the facility every few minutes.
- Circling One Direction: Circling only in one direction for more than an hour at a time may lead to muscle imbalance. Tracks usually alternate directions each day, but your workout schedule may mean you end up always going clockwise and never counter-clockwise. Be aware of this and aim to add in the other direction in your daily activities.
- Membership Cost: Indoor tracks are usually found in facilities that require a membership or usage fee.
Where to Find Indoor Tracks
- Private athletic clubs
- Public recreation facilities
- School athletic facilities
- Community recreation centers
- Workplace recreation facilities