Why Are Indoor Track Times Slower?

Indoor track times are generally slower than outdoor track times due to several factors related to the physical design of indoor tracks and the conditions in which athletes compete.

Factors Affecting the Running Time

1. Track Size

Indoor tracks are typically shorter in length than outdoor tracks. A standard indoor track is 200 meters long, while outdoor tracks are usually 400 meters long. The shorter distance means that runners have to complete more laps to cover the same distance, which can lead to slower times due to increased fatigue and more frequent turns.

2. Tighter Turns

Indoor tracks have tighter turns compared to outdoor tracks. Negotiating these tighter turns requires runners to decelerate slightly, which can impact their overall speed and result in slower times.

3. Banking of Indoor Tracks

Some indoor tracks are banked, which means the innermost lane is lower than the outermost lane, allowing for more momentum to be directed towards the center of the track. However, even with banking, the tighter radius of indoor track curves can still result in slower times. The banked design can help mitigate the loss of speed on turns, but it does not entirely eliminate the disadvantage posed by the tighter turns.

4. Environmental Conditions

Indoor tracks are not subject to outdoor weather conditions such as wind, rain, or extreme temperatures. While this may seem advantageous, outdoor conditions can sometimes provide a tailwind or optimal temperatures that help athletes run faster times.

5. Altitude and Air Quality

Indoor tracks are typically at sea level or close to it, while outdoor tracks can vary greatly in altitude. Higher altitudes generally have lower air density, which means there is less air resistance for runners. This can lead to faster times outdoors compared to indoors where air density remains relatively constant.

6. Training Focus

Athletes and coaches often prioritize outdoor competitions over indoor ones. As a result, athletes may not peak their training efforts for indoor events, leading to comparatively slower times.

How to Run Faster on Indoor Running Track?

To run faster on an indoor track, especially when tackling the unique challenges of tracks with banks and elevation changes, it’s crucial to strategically manage your energy and use the track’s design to your advantage.

We looked at athlete Matthew Boling’s experience on the 200m indoor track and made the following summary, hoping to help you improve your record on the indoor track. Here’s a detailed strategy for maximizing your speed on a 200m indoor track with banks:

Step1: Initial Drive Phase (0-30m)

Begin with a powerful drive out of the starting blocks for the first 30 meters. This phase is about generating as much forward momentum as possible, using explosive strength and quick starts.

Step2: Utilize the Bank (30m onwards)

As you approach the middle of the bank—where the track transitions from flat to inclined—maintain your momentum. This transition area can give you “free speed” due to the gravitational pull as you move downhill. The key is to use this phase to accelerate without expending additional energy.

Step3: Downhill Momentum (30m to 90m)

Feel the “slingshot” effect as you go down the bank. This natural acceleration should help you increase your leg turnover and momentum. Instead of trying to push harder, focus on controlling and maintaining the speed you’ve gained. This is not about adding speed, but rather about efficiently using the energy you’ve generated from the drive phase and the gravitational assistance from going downhill.

Step4: Preparing for the Uphill (90m mark)

As you near the 90-meter mark, mentally prepare to tackle the upcoming uphill section of the track. This is a critical point where races are often won or lost. Approach this section as if you’re running up a hill: it’s time to make a significant move. While it’s tempting to conserve energy, this is where you should strategically exert effort to build speed. Maintain relaxation and focus on efficient turnover to tackle the incline effectively.

Step5: Mid-Bank Relaxation (Middle of the bank)

Upon reaching the middle of the bank again, it’s crucial to relax your body while maintaining your speed. Take a moment to breathe deeply, relax, and keep your form steady. This is not the time to be distracted or to alter your rhythm. Consistency and relaxation here are key to preserving energy for the final push.

Step6: The Second Descent (145m onwards)

As you approach the second downhill section around the 145-meter mark, apply the same principles as the first downhill. Even though you’ll likely feel more fatigued, resist the urge to tense up. Remember, this is your last opportunity to use the track’s elevation to your advantage, gaining free speed as you prepare for the final stretch.

Step7: Final Sprint to the Finish

In the last phase of the race, your focus should be on maintaining speed and form. Use the momentum gained from the second descent to carry you through to the finish line. Even as fatigue sets in, keep your turnover quick and your body relaxed. This is where your earlier efforts and strategic use of the track’s design pay off, allowing you to finish strong.

This strategy combines physical preparation, mental focus, and tactical use of the track’s features to optimize your performance in indoor track events, particularly in races that include variable banking and elevation changes. Remember, successful indoor track running requires not just speed and endurance but also the ability to adapt your strategy to the unique challenges of the environment.

About Indoor Running Track

In addition to the techniques and strategies for running faster on an indoor track, the quality of the track itself plays a significant role in achieving top performance records. As a leading manufacturer of prefabricated rubber running tracks, we understand the importance of a high-quality surface that not only enhances speed but also provides the necessary safety and comfort for athletes. 

Our state-of-the-art rubber tracks are designed to maximize traction and minimize injury risks, ensuring that runners can focus on their performance without any distractions. Upgrade your facility with our top-of-the-line prefabricated rubber tracks and give every athlete the opportunity to break their personal best records in a safe and supportive environment.

Elevate Your Performance with Huadong Track

Whether you’re an athlete aiming to shatter records, a coach dedicated to elevating your team’s performance, or a facility manager looking to upgrade your indoor track, we have the perfect solution for you. Our prefabricated rubber running tracks are engineered for speed, safety, and durability, ensuring that every step taken on our surfaces propels you closer to your goals.

Don’t let substandard tracks slow you down. Reach out to us today for a quotation and transform your indoor track into a state-of-the-art arena where champions are made!





Huadong Holding Group, a famous rubber products manufacturer in China, was founded on 1988.


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