Using the Salida High School Track
Track Use Information
The CCRC feels that it is very important for the public to have access to the best running specific facility in Chaffee County: the Salida High School Track. This is a fantastic facility and great asset to our community and we want to keep it that way.
We worked to ensure that appropriate free access to this facility was available, and then donated $5000.00 to help facilitate this use. We encourage you to read the links below to learn more about the track and how to use it responsibly.
Proper etiquette for use of the track
The new Salida High School Track is a fantastic facility that is available for public use.
Please follow these rules to use it responsibly and safely.
When to use the track.
- Only use the track when the turnstile near the school at the SW corner of the track is unlocked. Do not climb the fence.
- The turnstile is generally unlocked from 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily, every day of the year.
- The track may be closed during inclement weather.
- Do not use the track when school is in session (generally 8am-4pm Monday-Thursday but also some Fridays) or after school if teams are practicing/playing sports on it or the turf field.
- The track/turf field may be closed during other scheduled activities. Check the calendar at http://salidaschools.com/calendar/
- If there is a scheduled group/team in the facility, you may be able to use the track by asking permission from them first.
- The facility is almost always available from 6-8 a.m.
- The turnstile will lock automatically at 8 p.m. but will still allow for exiting after that time.
What is allowed on the track
- Wear soft soled rubber outsole athletic shoes on the track. No cleats or lugged soled shoes. Avoid wearing track spikes as these wear the surface out more quickly. Running or walking shoes are best.
- Make sure your shoes are clean and not tracking mud, dirt, rocks or worse onto the track.
- Pets/animals, glass containers, fluids (other than water), food, wheeled vehicles (including bicycles), skis and poles are not allowed on the track. Do not bring anything into the track or field area that might damage it.
- Supervise children at all times. Do not let them throw rocks/sand or play/climb on the equipment.
- Headphones are allowed but they may impede your ability to communicate with other track users.
- No tobacco use is permitted on the track or turf field.
- Chewing gum or sunflower seeds should not be used on the track or turf field.
How to use the facility
- Make sure you respect other users of the facility, and kindly ask them to respect you if they are not.
- Stay off any equipment in the facility (high jump pits, hurdles, football sleds, etc.)
- Try to avoid moving any equipment.
- If you must move hurdles or mats on the track, lift them up and gently place them to the side. Do not drag anything across the track surface.
- It may be better to fold the crossing matts that cover the track to expose one or two lanes instead of moving the entire matt (if you can not cross over the matts)
- Replace anything you move to where it originally was.
- Restroom facilities are located outside the track in the NE parking area. Local businesses may let you use their restroom with permission.
- Please refrain from spitting on the track or turf field.
- There may be people using the turf field with balls, so watch for those straying onto the track.
On the track
- Try to avoid using the inside lanes as much as possible. These get the most use in competition and wear out faster. Only use the inside lanes when running for time.
- If you are not running for time use the outer lanes # 4-8.
- Distribute your use over multiple lanes.
- Faster runners should use lanes nearer the inside and slower runners/walkers should use lanes nearer the outside.
- Most runners will circle the track in a counter clockwise direction. (left hand turns) When sharing the track with others circle it in this direction.
- If the track is not crowded it is a ok to reverse direction at times to balance stresses on your body.
- When passing another runner, it is acceptable to say “Track” to let them know of your intention.
- Pass others in your lane on the right (outside) when running counterclockwise. Slower runners being passed should maintain their position and faster runners should move out to pass on the outside.
- Share the track with others. If you are doing something for time and need the inside lanes, communicate your requests to others present and you might get a cheering section, pacer, split reader or support!
- When stopping stretching or standing, do not impede others. If you are setting out clothes or a water bottle, place them so it does not impede others.
- Gradually slow down instead of coming to a sudden stop. If you are running and need to stop, step off the track to the inside if running in the inside lane. If running in an outer lane, check to make sure no one is behind you and then move toward the outer edge of the track and stop.
- It is ok to run or walk on the turf field. Respect others using it.
- This is a 400 meter track so one mile is actually 4 laps plus an additional 9.3 meters (10.17 yards). You can roughly consider 4 laps the equivalent to a mile here at 7000’ to help adjust for altitude.
- Staggered starting lines are marked on the track with numbers for lanes 2-8 for 400 meters (at SW corner); 300 meters (at SE corner) and 200 meters (at NE corner). All these staggered distances end at the SW corner finish line.
- You can roughly gauge your distance run as each lane out from lane 1 adds just under 7 extra meters per lap. So one lap in lane 8 is ~449 meters. For every 8 laps you complete in lane 8 you cover about 3200 meters/~2 miles plus the equivalent of an extra lap/400 meters.
Maintenance and problems
- Help keep the track clean by picking up and removing any trash, litter, gravel or debris found on the track. On your easy laps you can reach down and pick up and remove anything found on the track.
- Make sure you take everything you brought into the facility (clothes, extra shoes, etc.) with you when you leave.
- If you see someone using the facility irresponsibly, kindly and respectfully speak with them. Explain that it is a great facility that many people enjoy, that everyone wants the facility to last a long time, and how certain activities may damage it.
- Report any damage or problems to the facility to the Salida School District. (719) 530-5200 or (719) 221-8124
- Report vandalism or suspicious/damaging behavior to the Salida Police Dept. (911 emergency/ (719) 539- 2596 non-emergency) and the Salida School District (719-530-5200 or 719-221-8124
Here are some ideas about running on a track.
Don’t be intimidated by the bare naked truth that a watch and the measured distances of a track provide.
All runners of all abilities can benefit from and learn to enjoy running on a track.
Benefits to running on a track
- Accurately measured distances
- A surface that is designed for running allows faster running at the same effort level
- Soft surface feels good for knees, muscles and joints, and help prevent injury
- Consistent surface allows for faster running and focusing just on running: not terrain or footing
- Minimal distractions allow for concentration or day dreaming
- Easy to measure improvement
- Wide surface allows safe running side by side for talking and socializing
- Safety: no slippage, vehicles, critters, isolation or unexpected obstacles to worry about
- Easy navigation: no one gets lost
- Keeps groups together, different ability levels are never more than 200 meters apart
- Allows for stops or breaks without falling behind
- Easy repeated access to water or clothing
- Proximity to others provides support and camaraderie
- You can stop any time after any distance, and you can quickly and easily go home
Basic track workouts and ideas
- Below are some ideas to help you get started with track workouts.
- The idea is not to exhaust yourself by running so fast that you collapse. The idea is to run faster than you normally would.
- Use your watch but don’t be so self-judgmental that the experience becomes negative. You can only do what you can do today. The idea is to strive for gradual improvement from where you are today, (not last summer, last year, when you were young). Commit to going to the track once a week for 6 weeks. Start slower so you will improve and the experience remains positive.
- Get into the numbers (time, laps, distances and splits). Remember and record your workouts or bring a pencil and paper and write things down. Doing so will help you gauge improvement.
- Don’t be discouraged if you do not immediately get faster. Speed is relative and depends on the weather, other life stressors, etc. Improvement might mean maintaining the same pace with an easier effort, recovering faster, being able to go longer at the same pace, etc.
- Remember that there is a huge mental component to running. Concentrate on the task at hand and focus inwardly when running on the track. Use workouts on the track to train your brain.
- Warm up with at least 3 laps including picking up the pace for three times 100 meters at the end.
- Try to maintain an even pace throughout the effort part of your workouts. If you were planning to do an 800 meter in 4 minutes, try to cover each 200 meter/half lap segment in one minute.
- Focus on the now when running faster. Don’t project, as it never ever always continues to get worse. Learn not to project (to the end of the run, to the next repeat, to the next lap). Learn to break efforts down into smaller bites (one more lap, one more 200, just hold it around this turn, one more straightaway).
- If trying to get into running alternate walking the turns and running on the straights.
- Try doing some simple repeats. Three times any distance, with a recovery interval of walking or jogging that takes the same time as the repeat. Try to go a little easier on the first one and increase your pace slightly with each subsequent repeat. Try three times 800 meters (two laps) with a one lap walk or jog between each.
- Try doing an interval workout. Run 8 times 400 meters/one lap with a 2 minute walk or jog between. Pace yourself so all the 400 meters are run in the same time.
- Try a pyramid interval workout. Run repeats of 200 meters, 400 meters, 600 meters, 800 meters, 600 meters, 400 meters and 200 meters with a 90 second walk,jog or stand between. Pace yourself so you only slow down slightly as the distance increases as you progress up the pyramid. As the distances get shorter coming down the pyramid toward the end run faster.
- Try a time trial over certain distance or time. You can time yourself for 2-8 laps or just to see how far you can go in a certain length of time. (7 minutes or 12 minutes).
- Try running workouts on the track with someone of similar ability. Set a plan in advance and work together to achieve it. Trade off leading duties for each repeat, each lap, etc.
- Ask a faster runner to pace you through a certain workouts. Ask them to hit certain paces and all you will have to do is follow. Return the favor by reading splits for a faster runner in their workout or offering to pace someone slower than you.
- Always end a workout knowing that you could do one more. The idea is to train, not strain so hard that you hurt something or dread coming back to the track.
- Readjust your track workout or pack it in and go home or if you are not running up to par that day. Everyone has off days or bad days. Don’t force things.
- End your track workout with at least a 2 lap cool down. Do it on the artificial turf which is softer and slower than the track for a different feel.