Walking at the local elem. school outdoor track

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Walking at the local elem. school outdoor track

Postby ncaraway » 13 May 2012, 09:53

For the past month or so I've been spending an hour each evening walking/jogging laps at the local elementary school outdoor track. I'm one of about 30-50 regulars. I gather that most schools have these. I have 2 questions:

1) Does anyone know the standard dimensions of these tracks? I'm assuming this is a 200m track but I'm just guessing based on a handful of internet searches.
2) I'm struggling with how to keep track of the number of laps I walk/jog. Anyone have any tips for counting laps?

Somewhat related, two local parks have simple outdoor gym equipment, which is nice. The most useful I've found is a chest press that uses my bodyweight (basically pushing the bars lifts the chair I'm sitting in). The other equipment seems mostly aerobic or designed for seniors.

Many thanks!

[after posting this I realized there is actually a Fitness forum. Sorry for the misplaced post.]
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Re: Walking at the local elem. school outdoor track

Postby trubadour » 13 May 2012, 10:35

yey! this is one of my favourite things about the places I've lived in Asia - we just don't have this stuff available back in England (at least not where I come from).

Yes, the standard elementary track is 200m. If you go to a highschool or university it is 400m. These are really useful lengths.

When I'm training I find it very difficult to keep count, too. I would sometimes run for a few hours and do tens of laps, so it was pretty important not to loose count. In the end, I found the best way was to get a watch (you could use a phone). Start the stop watch and just add a lap each time you go around - it'll do the counting for you. Only you have to remember to hit the button each time. Better is a watch or timer with a countdown feature (not all watches have this feature). You choose a pace and the timer will count down and automatically restart each lap (it might beep at you, too - which might not be in-keeping with your mode of exercise).

Less good ways I found involved changing lane each lap, counting on my fingers - but this leads me back to the distance thing. At a university the track is 400m so four laps is 1.6km or one mile. So, for an elementary sized track that'd make it 8 for one mile. 5 laps is 2km, obviously. So, you can set yourself goals. 5 mins for 2km (5 laps), for example.

Regarding the gym equipment. I guess it depends on your gender and your aims. My favourite is the pull up bars. You just can't really get them anywhere else and it is such an awesome exercise. Also the parallel bars are pretty awesome for dips. There are some wicked exercises you can do on youtube.

This might give some ideas (if not you can follow the linked vids):
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Re: Walking at the local elem. school outdoor track

Postby ncaraway » 13 May 2012, 12:02

Thanks, trubadour. Good information.

I've been reluctant to try the pull-up bars here because I weigh 84kg. I don't want to break them and find myself laying on the ground in embarrassment. :oops:

I have been developing an interest in bodyweight exercises so I appreciate the video. Thank you.
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Re: Walking at the local elem. school outdoor track

Postby Kea » 13 May 2012, 15:14

ncaraway wrote:Thanks, trubadour. Good information.

I've been reluctant to try the pull-up bars here because I weigh 84kg. I don't want to break them and find myself laying on the ground in embarrassment. :oops:

I have been developing an interest in bodyweight exercises so I appreciate the video. Thank you.

It's all in your mind. I way over 90kg, and do many pull ups several times a week (50-100+)
Build up to it-take 6 months to get your ligaments used to it.
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Re: Walking at the local elem. school outdoor track

Postby superking » 13 May 2012, 15:22

You could get/borrow a phone with gps and then you'd know how far round the track goes, and how many laps you have done. Or do what Darwin did, put a small pile of stones at the start of lap one, then as you go round kick one away each lap. Then subtract how many you kicked away from how many you started with. Or have them in your pocket and drop one after each lap. Same principle.
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Re: Walking at the local elem. school outdoor track

Postby ncaraway » 13 May 2012, 17:32

Kea, my concern is that the bar I see in the park might not hold my weight. I used to have a pull-up bar installed in a doorway in my flat in the US and loved it, using it regularly. The park equipment seems flimsy, though.

superking, I like your suggestion about stones. Perhaps an alternative would be to use grains of rice, pre-counting beforehand and dropping a grain at the completion of a lap.
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Re: Walking at the local elem. school outdoor track

Postby *monkey* » 13 May 2012, 22:38

You can buy a thumb clicker counter in mom-n-pop hardware stores for about NT100 - like the kind teachers use to count kids when they are on a field trip.
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