Track workouts are a powerful tool that can help you build speed, endurance, and confidence. They are also an important part of the training regimen for many of the world's best athletes, from Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire to Wayde van Niekerk in Rio. But it can be intimidating for first-timers to walk into the oval and not know how long each lap is or how many miles they'll need to run to complete a workout.
The vast majority of tracks use the metric system, and one lap around a standard outdoor track is 400 meters. Each lane gets progressively longer as you move away from the center. This means that in lane one, a single lap is about 400 yards. By lane 4, that distance is almost three quarters of a mile. This is why it's so common to see a pack of runners jockeying for position in the innermost lane in order to ensure they get their desired distance.
Luckily, you don't have to be a seasoned Olympic athlete to understand how to measure your own track workouts. All you need is a basic understanding of math, and you can easily calculate how far one lap is using the following formula: