If you are an athlete or an avid fitness enthusiast, you know that it’s never easy to find a sound running track to train yourself.
Some designated areas such as your local fitness club, regional parks, or schools could ask for a membership fee or remain inaccessible during certain hours.
Should you stop your outdoor training aspirations just because, there is no running track near you? Surely not.
We got an idea. Why not build a running track in your backyard and forget about hassling for one forever.
Let’s get moving.
Why You Need a Running Track in Your Backyard?
Building a running track in your backyard may not make sense if you don’t have any reasons for building one.
To make the decision curve short and quick for you, here are the reasons you may want to build that backyard track.
Allows You To Exercise At Your Convenience
A backyard running track is worth the hassle if you’re a privacy freak. The idea of sweating and puffing in the open doesn’t rhyme well for some people.
You’re also likely to sustain injuries when running on hard surfaces. However, with a private track, you’re free to exercise at whatever time you want, in whatever outfit that makes you comfortable.
Keeps Your Mental Health In Check
Apart from keeping your body fit, a running track in your backyard also comes in handy to declutter and clear your mind, thus giving you a mental boost.
Training Ground For Your Sporting Needs
If you’re a sportsman, running around your track is an excellent way to motivate yourself to action.
It enables you to work hard, build your stamina, increase your physical strength and get to the top of your game.
Factors To Consider When Building A Running Track
Your backyard is an ideal place to build a running track, but there are factors you want to consider before you begin construction.
What are these factors, and how will they affect the construction process? Let’s know more.
1. Your Backyard Space
Spacing is vital to building a running track that best meets your fitness needs. Your backyard space should accommodate the length of the track you desire.
2. The Length Of The Track
Another factor you want to look into is the length of the running track. For example, a 400- meter eight-lane standard track will need 5500 square yards to serve its purpose.
But we suppose you won’t be building such an expansive track in your backyard. Consider the length of the running track you want to set up.
3. Your Budget
Several factors will affect the overall cost of setting up a running track, such as the material to use, the surface type you want to build on, and the size of your track.
4. Materials To Use
The type of surfaces you want to build your track on range from latex, rubberized, or polyurethane.
These vary in pricing, with most track builders going for synthetic rubber. You want to check whether the material you opt to use is environmentally friendly and durable.
Another recommended construction material is polyurethane. It is low maintenance and environmentally friendly. Besides, it has also been found to be versatile and non-toxic.
However, this article is limited to building a grass-type or gravel-based track only.
Building A Running Track In Your Backyard
Building a running track typically involves following a procedure you should stick to for the best results. Key steps include:
- Designing and planning
- Environmental feasibility
- Health and safety considerations
- Drainage needs
- Fixing a sub base and base
- Determining whether you will require a shock-absorbent layer
- Setting up the track surface
That said, the steps mentioned above aren’t cast in stone, and one can be flexible depending on the local conditions and the type of running track you’re looking to build.
A backyard running track could be grass or a dirt and gravel track. Why not get down to each of the options highlighted.
Building a Grass Running Track
Here are the key steps to follow when building a grass running track in your backyard.
- Identify a suitable area for the track. It should be leveled and fit the length of the track you intend to build.
- Use a measuring device to determine the size of the path your track will follow. This will entail several rounds through your yard to get the correct distance.
- Your next steps will involve route marking on the grass using spray paint to make distinct lines.
- Using a lawnmower, mow through the marked area following the spray paint lines. Set the mower to the lowest level possible and cut along the bar for a narrow track.
- If building a wider running track, you could first mow the left side and move to the right afterward.
- Keep the grass on the track shorter than the grass growing outside the track.
- Finish up by marking the track boundaries with boards or rocks if this works well.
Building A Dirt And Gravel Track
Buiding a dirt and gravel track is more or less similar to building a grass track. However, it will involve some more in-depth work, highlighted below.
After getting done with steps 1-4 mentioned above, proceed with the following steps:
- Remove rocks, bushes, weeds, or other plants from the designated area.
- Break up the soil using a tiller. This will remove the top grass and its seeds.
- Line the track borders with bricks or boards. This is to contain dirt and gravel. Sink them deep into the soil to prevent them from moving.
- Press the soil as much as possible by walking over it to make it firm and level. You could also use a heavy roller to do so.
- Some gardeners prefer filling the track up with dirt before adding a layer of pea gravel.
- Pea gravel doesn’t need to be pressed since it eventually compresses itself into the dirt. It is also suitable for minimizing the effects of rain and ensuring you have a conducive running surface.
If your search for a running track has remained largely futile, we hope you now have what it takes to make one in your backyard.
Have a look around your backyard to identify a suitable area. Then follow the DIY steps outlined above— all without breaking the bank.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.