Track and field athletics facilities are typically used for daily training as well as the staging of regional or local competitions, although some facilities may be used for both. When higher-level competitions are staged, the demands placed on the sports facility, particularly in terms of infrastructure, are typically more extensive.

Athletics tracks are generally multi-purpose, with the interior of the 400m track being used as a soccer, gridiron, and rugby pitch. Additionally, these tracks are used for events other than sporting competitions, such as concerts and public assemblies.

Layout for a standard competition

The layout recommended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as the Standard Competition Area is depicted in the diagram below. For the sake of avoiding congestion and meeting the needs of the spectators, the field events are evenly distributed throughout the arena. Because of this layout, ceremonies will not cause undue disruption to events and the concentration of interest in the finish area will be counterbalanced.

Keep track of what is happening.

Sprint, middle distance, hurdle, and steeplechase events are all part of the track and field programme. The 400m oval track serves as the foundation of a multi-sports arena, and the dimensions of the track are determined by the needs of the various sports.

The following activities are included in the competition area for track events:

Oval track with at least four lanes and safety zones measuring no less than one metre on the inside and outside on both sides of the track.
Sprints and hurdles are run down a straight with a minimum of six lanes.
Steeplechase track similar to an oval track, but with a permanent water jump in the middle.
Artificial track surfaces, unbound mineral (cinder), and grass are the three most common types of track surfaces.
400m of standard track is available.
Having straight and curved sections of nearly equal length, as well as uniform bends, the 400m Standard Track (the Track) is designed to accommodate athletes’ running rhythms to the greatest extent possible. The track’s interior also includes a large enough area to accommodate all throwing events in addition to a standard football (soccer) field (68m x 105m).

The track is comprised of two semicircles, each with a radius of 36.50m, which are connected by two straights, each measuring 84.39m in length and connecting them.

Although the track has eight lanes, it can also have six or four lanes on occasion, though the latter is not used for international running competitions. Lanes are 1.22m wide with a 0.01m difference in width between them.

Section 2.2.1 of the Manual for Laying Out the 400m Standard Track on Page 35 of the Manual for Laying Out the 400m Standard Track describes in detail the layout plan and dimensions of the 400m standard track.

The 400m standard track has been marked out.

  • All track markings must be in accordance with the International Association of Athletics Federations 400m Standard Track Marking Plan (Figure attached in the Manual).
    White lines denote the boundaries of all lanes. It is necessary to include in the measurement of each lane’s width the line that runs along the right hand side, in the direction of travel, of each lane.
    All start lines (with the exception of curved start lines) and the finish line are marked at a right angle to the lane lines to ensure that they are visible.
    The lanes are marked with numbers with a minimum height of 0.50m, which are placed immediately before the finish line.
    All of the markings are 0.05m in width.
    Unless otherwise stated, all distances are measured in a clockwise direction, starting from the edge of a finish line closer to the start and working our way to the edge of a start line farther from the finish.
    Track (constant lane width of 1.22m) data for staggered starts is shown in the table below for the Track (staggered start data for the Track).
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