How To Find A Running Track Near You: Our 6 Helpful Tips

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Whether you are just getting started on your running journey or you are an experienced runner looking to do speed workouts, finding a running track nearby will be important so that you have a reliable, measured distance for workouts.

However, if you are new to running, new to track workouts, or visiting an area and want to do a running workout on vacation, you may ask, “How do I find a running track near me?” or, “Are there any running tracks near me?”

In this guide to locating running tracks in your area, we will provide practical tips for how to find a running track near you so that you don’t have to go out of your way to get your running workouts done.

We will look at: 

  • How To Find a Running Track Near Me
  • What If I Can’t Find Running Tracks Near Me?

Let’s get started!

A person lacing up their running shoe on a track.

How To Find a Running Track Near Me

There are several good places to look for running tracks in your area or in any area where you are traveling.

Here are some of the best tips for how to find a running track near you:

#1: Use a Running Track Locator Website

There are several websites that help runners locate a running track near you.

These websites allow you to enter your ZIP Code, town, or city, and then the running track locator search tool will populate a list of running tracks in your area.

Some of the best running track locator apps and websites include the following:

A running track.

#2: Use Google Maps

Google Maps is an underutilized tool for how to find a running track near you.

You can input “running track“ into the Google Maps search to try to find a running track, but another effective tip for how to find a running track on Google Maps is to switch from the regular street map view to the satellite view.

The satellite view is the option that shows the actual photographic images from overhead of the area.

From here, it is easier to zoom around and look for the iconic running track oval, often red in color, to help you find a local running track.

Then, you can switch to the street view to find the address of the running track and figure out directions or how to run to the running track or drive to the track, depending on the distance from your home or running home base.

A running track.

#3: Check Schools and Universities

Typically, the best place to find a local running track near you that is open to the public and standardized in terms of distance (400 meters) is at high schools, colleges, and universities.

Particularly if you live in a larger town or city, schools or universities should have a running track for the student-athletes on the track and field team.

However, this leads to the common question posed by recreational runners: “Can I run on the track at a high school, or can I use the track at the high school?”

This is an important consideration because many running tracks at schools have certain hours that are open to the public for use that fall outside of the practice times for the track team.

For example, a high school running track may be open to the public in the early morning before school or in the first couple of hours of school and in the evening but closed in the afternoon while the high school track team is practicing.

A running track.

Colleges and universities sometimes allow the community to use the track during off hours as well, though the running track open hours tend to be more variable in higher education settings.

You can generally find out if the running track is open to the public and what hours you can use the running track by going to the athletics website for the college or university and looking under “Facilities.”

You may need to call the Athletic Director and ask if you can use the running track and what the rules and hours of use are for the general public.

#4: Ask 

Asking at your local running shop or local running club can be a good tip for how to locate a running track in your area.

#5: Check Local Parks or Rec Centers

Depending on where you live, one tip for how to find a running track near you is to look at the facilities at the local parks or recreational centers.

Areas that have financial resources for a more robust public recreation department and public parks program often have great running tracks open to the public.

A running track.

There may even be organized community track workouts scheduled a couple of times a week at these facilities.

These could be helpful for runners who either want the structure or coaching taken out of the equation of determining your track workouts or could use the support and company on the track during hard speed workouts.

Some rec centers have indoor tracks, which generally won’t be any larger than 200 m, and most community recreational facilities will have smaller indoor tracks.

These facilities can certainly be helpful in the winter or during times of inclement weather, but regularly running a lot of mileage on a tiny track can increase the risk of injuries due to the banking or constant turning as you run the tight curves of a small track.

Make sure that you are alternating directions when you are doing any longer distances.

This is a particularly important tip for running on a track if it is a small running track (200 meters or less).

Switching directions periodically will help offset the imbalances in the hips, ankles, feet, and knees that occur when you are constantly running in the same direction around tight curves or on a banked track surface (slopes up toward the outside of the track).

A person running on a blue  track.

#6: Look Into Fitness Clubs and Athletic Complexes

Another tip for how to find a running track is to look into the upscale gyms, fitness clubs, or sports complexes in your area.

Like rec centers, some of these facilities have running tracks outdoors on the grounds, perhaps surrounding a swimming pool or sports field.

More likely, some larger gyms and fitness studios are now building running tracks indoors that overlook the sports courts or cardio floor, or there may be a rooftop outdoor running track.

Again, running tracks in most gyms or fitness clubs are not full or official running track distances (400 meters for an outdoor track and 200 meters for an indoor track).

This means that you will need to look at the distance for one lap of the running track and then calculate how many laps you need to run per mile or per kilometer, depending on whether you train using the metric system or the Imperial measurement system.

People running on treadmills.

What If I Can’t Find Running Tracks Near Me?

Let’s say you’ve exhausted your options on how to find a running track, and there are no running tracks where you live or where you are visiting.

In a perfect world, there would be at least one, if not multiple, running tracks in every town of the world, but that’s not the reality.

Essentially, if you live in a remote location or don’t have access to travel far to a running track from where you leave for your runs, you may need to get creative.

There are a few ways of getting around needing to have a running track.

For one, you can use the treadmill for speed work and try to replicate track intervals or repeats using the distance on the treadmill to gauge when to start and stop your hard efforts.

You can also measure out a distance equivalent to a running track in your neighborhood or a flat, local place where you frequently run. 

A person running on a track.

You can use your odometer in a car, a GPS running watch, or a running route app to map out a good mock 400m running track on the road or grass to use in place of an official running track.

If you need a running track temporarily while traveling or on vacation or a particular speed workout on your training plan, you can just perform the workout on the roads or trails by converting the track interval distances to time-based intervals.

For example, if your schedule calls for 6×800m and you normally run your 800m repeats in 3:40, run hard for 3 minutes and 40 seconds on the roads for each interval.

For another guide about how to find great places to run when you are traveling, check out our article on how to find the best running routes on vacation here.

A person running on a gravel road with a snow-capped mountain view.
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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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