What can you do when your training plan prescribes a Track/Speed workout, but the local tracks are closed, non-existent, or school is in session. You have options, and one of the best is your Local Mall parking lot.
All right, five minute warm up. Welcome. Let’s get started. All right, today I want to talk about where do you run track workouts when you can’t get to the track. And in particular, this time of year, when schools back in session, it is hard to go to maybe your local high school track to run a track workout. And you can go early in the morning, that’s usually an option. But sometimes even then, that’s hard, because kids get there early to practice things, or you could go late at night. But even that’s hard sometimes, because you may have the football team or the soccer team or the lacrosse team or the band team practicing leg. So there’s a little bit of a variability because you don’t know their schedule. And so sometimes it’s hard to get to the track during the week when schools in session. And so when that happens, what do you do if you have a track workout to do when you have to run intervals or 400 mile repeats, whatever it may be, there’s a couple options.
One of the options is you can obviously go run it on a bike path or trail. And that’s a good option. Another option is to run it on the roads to find maybe a flat section of road on a running path normally haven’t do it there. Each of those options are good. But sometimes they’re not ideal when you’re running a high speed track workout, because there may be may be crowded, right, there may be a lot of people on the bike path and trail and that can make it hard for you to hit the splits if you’re having a weaver among people. Second, sometimes you’re not the best places to run because you may be have cars going past you in the case of a road or there’s undulations and maybe you don’t want a lot of hills when you’re when you’re doing and it’s hard to find a par straight path or you know, maybe there’s there’s a lot of things that are spacing, right. And so like you’re constantly hitting an intersection or site, sometimes it’s hard. But if you can find those things, those are great options.
A third option to consider that I use a lot is I find a local mall. And so here I am, kind of at the abandon, not abandoned, but less busy more than it used to be. And I find that running around a mall in the parking lot is a great way to do these track workouts. In general, you can find pretty long stretches of flat roads. In general, if you need to run long things like 800 mile repeats, you can find a loop that is plenty big enough where you don’t have to be repetitive if you don’t want to. They are generally not that busy. So there’s not a lot of cars here in the cars that are here aren’t going super fast, like on the roads. And so that’s a good thing.
And yeah, it’s just a really good place to do workouts.
I’ve been doing this for years. I love it, I love the consistency of it because you can, over time start marking out your own track, which is what I do. And so I have a 200 the 400 loops, starting points. And so that’s always good. And the third thing is, is that a lot of times these, these parking lines actually incorporate some hills. And so if you’re looking to run like a mile repeat loop, but still want to get some Hill work in and want to just do it on the track, you can do it in a mall parking lot, because um, you can choose a route that gets some of those sales. And the final thing that makes the malls great is that it is likely the same surface the same asphalt surface that you will be running your road races on. And so now you’re doing a track workout, not on synthetic turf or whatever it may be, but you’re doing it on roads and you’re going to run it and so that’s always useful sometimes to make sure you’re getting that stimulus.
So if you’re looking for a place to do a track work and you can’t get to your local track, you can get creative and you can make your own track and your local mall is a great place and maybe stop into the food court and give him some business when you’re done.