A Comprehensive Guide for Synthetic Running Track Maintenance

Synthetic running track is an integral part of modern sports facilities, helping athletes perform better on the field. Due to its importance to athletes, proper maintenance to ensure longevity and continued performance of synthetic running track is essential.

In this article, we will delve into the key components of synthetic running tracks, explore the impact of materials on track performance, and discuss effective maintenance practices.

The Components of Synthetic Running Tracks

Key materials

Synthetic tracks are typically constructed using a combination of polyurethane, rubber, and latex. These materials contribute to the track’s elasticity, shock absorption, and overall durability. Polyurethane, known for its resilience, is often used as the top layer, while Rubber and latex layers underneath enhance flexibility and cushioning.

Impact of material on performance and durability

The choice of materials significantly influences the performance and durability of synthetic tracks. High-quality materials ensure better shock absorption, reducing the risk of injuries. Additionally, the right combination of materials helps maintain the track’s elasticity, preventing cracks and deformations over time. Understanding these components is crucial for implementing effective maintenance strategies.

Maintenance Practices for Synthetic Running Tracks

1. Management of usage time

Managing the usage time of synthetic tracks is essential for preventing excessive wear and tear. Establishing a schedule for track usage allows for adequate rest periods, minimizing the impact of constant foot traffic. This practice helps extend the lifespan of the track and ensures a consistent level of performance.

2. Scope of application

Clearly delineating the application scope is paramount in the maintenance of synthetic tracks. Venues with synthetic surface materials must be utilized in accordance with their designated scope, primarily for educational purposes, training, and competitive events. To engage in activities or training within synthetic surface material venues, the presence of a physical education teacher for on-site guidance is mandatory, and all activities should be confined to the specified area.

It is strictly forbidden to play football on the synthetic running track. Due to the inherent elasticity of the synthetic surface track, it is imperative to refrain from placing heavy or sharp equipment or machinery on the track for prolonged periods to prevent the weakening and deformation of its elasticity.

3. Restrict the type of shoes worn by those entering the venue

Footwear plays a significant role in track maintenance. Restricting the type of shoes worn on the track can prevent damage from spikes or shoes with aggressive tread patterns. Implementing and enforcing footwear guidelines ensures that athletes use track-friendly shoes, minimizing abrasion and preserving the surface. For example, the spikes of running shoes should not exceed 7 mm, and the spikes of jumping shoes should not exceed 9 mm; spikes are not allowed to enter synthetic surface basketball courts and volleyball courts.

4. Limit the use of starting blocks

The utilization of starting blocks can exert significant pressure on particular sections of the track, resulting in localized wear. To mitigate this, it is advisable to restrict the frequency of starting block usage and periodically rotate their placement. This strategy ensures a more even distribution of impact, thereby preventing premature deterioration of the track surface.

It is imperative to use only approved starting blocks when practicing starts on the synthetic running track. To minimize potential damage to the track, it is recommended to alternate the use of starting blocks in the starting areas of the 100-meter and 110-meter hurdles. This approach contributes to the longevity and sustained performance of the track.

5. Restricted runway use

To prevent uneven wear on tracks with dedicated runways, implementing usage restrictions is crucial. Channeling athletes to specific lanes for sprints and designated areas for field events ensures a more equitable distribution of wear across the track, promoting its overall longevity.

The first and second runways, situated closer to the inner edge, are commonly utilized and should be restricted during regular times to curtail excessive wear on the inner runway. This precautionary measure safeguards against wear and tear caused by overuse. Particularly in the training of middle and long-distance running, it is advisable to allocate training personnel to utilize the outside track extensively, mitigating uneven wear on the venue. Joggers and walkers are also encouraged to utilize the outside lane to contribute to the balanced usage of the track.

Seasonal Maintenance

To facilitate seasonal maintenance, it is advisable to conduct comprehensive cleaning twice a year. Utilizing high-pressure water pipes for thorough site flushing is recommended. When clearing snow, it is important to use a broom for sweeping. Additionally, lines and markings should be updated as needed to ensure clarity and accuracy.

Seasonal changes can affect synthetic tracks, requiring specific maintenance measures. Regular cleaning, inspection, and repairs should be conducted during offseasons to address any issues before they escalate. Additionally, applying protective coatings or sealants can enhance the track’s resistance to weather conditions and UV radiation.

How to Repair Damaged Synthetic Track?

1. Cleaning

Identify the damaged area, use a wallpaper knife to cut along the outer edge of the marked line, creating a circular pit. Cut a 5mm wide slope along the outer edge and clean the underlying sand. Allow the foundation to dry.

2. Back cover

Apply a layer of specialized back seal glue on the foundation. This not only ensures waterproofing but also enhances the bonding of the upper layer for effective repair.

3. Construction personnel

Organize construction personnel to fill in the repaired parts with prepared track materials. Ensure meticulous and even application around the joints, maintaining a moderate thickness.

4. Grinding

Thoroughly smooth out excess rubber particles and protruding parts resulting from the repair process. Use a grinder to achieve a smooth surface across the entire site, ensuring the ground is clean.

5. Spray coating

This crucial step involves a two-step spray coating process. The first and second coats must be sprayed crosswise, with no specific requirements for their direction. After spraying, avoid noticeable joints for a seamless finish in the plastic track restoration process.

Conclusion

The maintenance of synthetic running tracks is paramount to ensuring their longevity and optimal performance. By adopting a proactive approach to maintenance, sports facilities can provide athletes with a reliable and durable platform for training and competition, ultimately contributing to the success and well-being of the athletic community.

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