Q:

How many laps around a track is a mile?

A:

Four laps around a standard outdoor track in lane 2 is 1.01 miles, while four laps in lane 1 is 0.99 miles. Running in lanes that are further from the center of the track results in running slightly longer distances. For instance, four laps in lane 8 is 1.13 miles.

One mile is equivalent to 1,609 meters, which is equal to 5,280 feet. The majority of outdoor tracks are built such that the inner lane (lane 1) is exactly 400 meters, which is equal to 1,312.3 feet. Track lanes have a standard width of 1.22 meters, so for every lane out from the center, the lap length increases by approximately 7.67 meters, or 25 feet.

On nonstandard tracks, some work must be done to determine the number of laps in a mile. Walk one circuit of the track, and count the number of paces. Multiply stride length, which is approximately 2.25 feet, by the number of paces to calculate the length in feet of one lap. Divide 5,280 feet by lap length to calculate the number of laps that equals one mile. If the result is not a whole number, round up to the nearest whole number for a decimal portion 0.5 or greater, and round down for a decimal portion less than 0.5.


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