Indoor Track Running: 6 Tips for Excelling Indoors

Indoor Track Running

Looking to perfect your indoor track running workout?  Indoor track running is a great way to stay active and maintain your strength and endurance, no matter what the weather is like outside. However, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut and fall into a stagnant routine. Fear not, though! In this blog post, we will provide you with six helpful tips to help you perfect your indoor track running workout. From setting realistic goals to incorporating variety into your routine, our tips will help you stay motivated and see results in no time. So, let’s get started!

First things first, what is actually the difference between an indoor and outdoor running track?

Indoor Running Track vs Outdoor Running Track

There are some significant differences between running on an indoor track and running on an outdoor track. Sure, they may seem like they’re the same thing, but there are some key factors that can affect your running experience and overall performance. 

Differences in Surface Texture

Some tracks are harder than others. If you’re running indoors, the surface is usually made of synthetic materials like polyurethane and rubber and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. That can be good because it’s softer than concrete or asphalt, so it won’t be as tough on your joints. But sometimes indoor tracks can be too bouncy, which messes with your stride and makes it harder to keep your balance. Texture definitely matters when you’re trying to run your best. Ultimately, the choice of track surface depends on the runner’s individual needs and preferences. Whether it is a hard surface or something softer, what matters most is finding a surface that allows you to run comfortably and safely.

Differences in Size

Indoor tracks are smaller, with most tracks measuring 200 meters or less, while outdoor tracks measure at least 400 meters in circumference. With this in mind, it means when you run indoors, you will run more bends.

Weather Conditions

Outdoor tracks are exposed to the elements and are affected by weather conditions, such as wind, rain, and extreme temperatures. Indoor tracks, on the other hand, are climate-controlled and allow runners to train in a comfortable environment year-round.

Outdoor Track


Indoor tracks have the advantage of being well-lit, which provides better visibility for runners.


Indoor tracks are generally equipped with additional accessories such as electronic timing systems, scoreboards, and video displays, while outdoor tracks may not have these amenities available.


Outdoor tracks are often more readily available to the public, as they can be located in parks or public areas, while indoor tracks are typically found within sports facilities or universities, which may have certain restrictions on usage.

Where can I run faster times, an Indoor Track or Outdoor Track?

According to scientific studies, it is generally easier to run faster times on an indoor track than an outdoor track due to the absence of external factors such as wind resistance and weather conditions.  However, it ultimately depends on the individual athlete’s training and personal preferences.

Tip 1 – Preparation Strategies

When it comes to track running, one of the most important things you need to focus on is your training program. You can’t just show up to race day and expect to do well without putting in the work beforehand. That’s where combining aerobic and anaerobic activity comes into play. Aerobic activity is all about building endurance. This means you need to do exercises that keep your heart rate up for an extended period of time, such as running for long distances. On the other hand, anaerobic activity is all about building strength. This means you need to do exercises that involve short bursts of intense energy, such as sprinting. By combining both of these types of activity in your training program, you’ll be able to build both your endurance and strength, which will ultimately help you perform better on race day. 

Prepare your workout

Furthermore, track running requires more than just endurance training, and a well-rounded program should incorporate speed and agility drills. Sprints, hill runs and plyometric exercises are essential components to increase speed, improve reaction time, and boost explosiveness. These drills can also help in avoiding injuries as they enhance the coordination and balance required for smooth transitions between movements. By incorporating these elements into your track running program, you are taking your training to the next level and increasing your chances of success. So, whether you are a seasoned athlete or a beginner, incorporating speed and agility drills into your track running program can help you reach your full potential.

Indoor Track Running

An Indoor Track provides comfort over cold temperatures

Unquestionably, the primary benefit of an indoor track over an outdoor one is the comfort it provides. It’s not just a matter of feeling cozy – engaging in high-intensity workouts in chilly weather can result in injury if you don’t properly warm up. Even the most thorough preparations can’t guarantee complete protection from something like a pulled hamstring in freezing temperatures.

Tip 2 – Getting the Most Out of Your Workouts

When it comes to track running, setting goals is crucial. You need to keep in mind your strengths and weaknesses while working out. Every person has a different capacity and therefore setting realistic targets becomes essential. Indoor track running can pose its own challenges, and that’s where understanding your individual limits comes in handy. Tailor your workout regime to match your abilities and gradually build stamina by pushing yourself, but not to the point of exhaustion. Remember, track running is not just about winning races, but also about improving your personal bests. So, set goals that are achievable and ones that bring out the best in you!

Establish a solid routine

When it comes to track running, establishing a solid routine and sticking to it is essential if you want to see real results. This means setting aside time for stretching before and after each indoor session, so you can get your body warmed up and cooled down properly. But it’s not just about the workout itself – you also need to make sure you’re fueling your body with the right kinds of foods. That means snacking on nutritious foods throughout the day and making sure you’re eating balanced meals that provide plenty of energy for your runs. So if you want to crush your indoor track running goals, start by setting up a daily routine that includes stretching, healthy eating, and plenty of time on the track.

Keep a training diary

Additionally, tracking your progress while track running can be a great way to stay motivated and see results. It can also help you build on your successes and improve on any areas that need work. By measuring your performance over time, you can adjust your goals and workouts accordingly, ensuring that you are constantly pushing yourself to be the best runner possible. Whether you are training for a race, trying to improve your fitness, or simply enjoy track running as a fun and healthy activity, tracking your progress is an essential part of reaching your full potential as a runner. 

Tip 3 – Enhancing Your Speed and Endurance

If you’re looking to take your track running game to the next level, you might want to consider incorporating some strength training with weights and sprinting into your indoor workouts. By working on building up your muscles and power through weightlifting, you can get a serious boost in your overall performance on the track. Doing sprints can also be helpful in improving your speed over short distances, as well as increasing your endurance for longer races. It’s not just about the speed, but also about endurance, which requires both physical and mental strength.

Your muscles need to be strong enough to maintain your momentum, while your heart needs to be in top shape to keep pumping oxygen-rich blood to the entire body. So if you’re serious about dominating on the track, make sure you mix things up with some strength training and sprinting to really kick your training into high gear!

Weight Training

Interval Training

Also, an important aspect of track running is endurance. By incorporating interval training into your workouts, you can build up your endurance and ability to run for longer distances. This is especially important for track runners who need to maintain a consistent pace throughout the race. Interval training allows you to push yourself to the next level by alternating between high-intensity exercise and rest periods. This helps to increase your physical capacity, allowing you to go faster and farther for longer periods of time. Incorporating interval training into your track running routine can have a significant impact on your performance and help you achieve your goals.

Tip 4 – Proper Warm Up and Cool Down Techniques

When it comes to track running, warming up properly is crucial. It’s not just a matter of getting your heart rate up and breaking a sweat. No, there’s actually science behind it. By properly warming up, you’re helping to increase blood flow to your muscles and preparing your joints for the workout ahead. This can prevent injury and ensure that you’re able to give it your all on the track. So, don’t skip the warm-up! Take a few minutes to stretch, do some light jogging, and get your body ready for the run ahead.

Start with a light jog

An indoor track can be especially challenging, since the air can be stuffy and it’s often hard to get a good stretch in. That’s why it’s important to start with a proper warm-up routine.

To properly warm up, start with a light jog. This will get your heart rate up and your blood flowing to your muscles. After that, it’s time for dynamic stretching exercises like arm swings or leg swings. These will help increase your flexibility and range of motion, making it easier for you to run faster and more efficiently. Trust me, nothing feels worse than being halfway through a run and feeling a muscle pull or cramp. So, take the extra time to warm up properly and you’ll be on your way to a great track run!

Always do a cool down

Cooling down after a run is just as important as warming up. You might think that once you cross that finish line, your job is done, but that’s not the case. Cooling down helps your heart rate naturally slow down and allows for a gradual decrease in body temperature. After all that hard work you just put in, you don’t want to shock your body by suddenly stopping. Take a short jog, do some stretches, and give your muscles time to relax.

Static stretching exercises like calf stretches and quadriceps stretches can help reduce soreness and prevent potential injury by improving your range of motion and flexibility. So, don’t forget to take care of your body both during and after your runs.

Indoor track running and stretching

Tip 5 – Self Belief

When it comes to track running, building strength and power is essential to achieving success on the track. But it’s not just about physical training- developing the right mindset and mental attitude is equally important. To push past limits, you need to believe in yourself and your abilities. It’s okay to feel nervous or doubt yourself, but don’t let those feelings hold you back. Use them as fuel to push yourself harder. Be determined and persistent, even when the going gets tough. Remember, progress takes time and effort. Don’t give up on your goals, even if it seems like progress is slow. Keep working hard, stay focused, and maintain a positive attitude- these are the keys to building strength and power while track running.

Tip 6 – Injury Prevention Strategies

It’s not just about the warm-up – you also need to pay attention to your form when you’re running on the track. Make sure you land with a mid-foot strike rather than a heel strike, and try to keep your arms relaxed and parallel to your body. With the right approach, you can enjoy all the benefits of track running without putting yourself at risk of injury.

Proper form and technique

Proper form and technique are extremely important, especially when tackling long distances. To avoid unnecessary injuries, runners need to engage their core muscles, which helps with balance and stability. They should also maintain a relaxed stride, which can be achieved by avoiding tension in the upper body and keeping the arms and shoulders loose. And finally, running on even terrain is key to preventing knee and ankle injuries. It’s important not to neglect these key elements of track running.

Foam Rollers!

Additionally, incorporating recovery tools into a track runner’s routine can significantly improve their overall performance. Foam rollers can increase blood flow and loosen tight muscles, while compression garments reduce muscle vibration and fatigue during training. Massages can also aid in reducing soreness and promoting healthy muscles. Remember, taking care of your body is just as important as the actual training on the track. By utilizing recovery tools, you can reduce the risk of injury and ensure that you are ready to tackle your next run!

Indoor track running and foam rolling

Wrapping up

And there you have it – eight tips for mastering your indoor track running workout! With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your race PB. Remember to set realistic goals, listen to your body, and mix up your routine to keep things interesting!

Indoor Running Tracks in the UK

Full 200m tracks:

1) Lee Valley Athletics Centre, Edmonton
2) National Indoor Athletics Centre, Cardiff
3) English Institute of Sport, Sheffield
4) Manchester Regional Arena, Manchester
4) Emirates Arena, Glasgow
5) Athlone Arena, Co Westmeath, Ireland
6) National Indoor Arena, Dublin, Ireland



UK Athletic Club Directory

UK Running Track Directory


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