How to Maintain the Surface of Your Running Track

Classic Turf is known for creating and installing superior running tracks around the country. Many schools, universities and private organizations like having running tracks on their properties as a place for people to run. Whether competitive or “just for fun,” running tracks are a great place for people to exercise.

The Importance of Maintaining Your Track

Maintaining a running track over time will help it not only look nice but function as intended, too. For starters, anytime there’s debris on the track, remove it. Sweeping the track with brooms makes sense. You want to get rid of anything that shouldn’t be on the track, including small stones, trash that blew on there, or people’s stuff they set down in the way of others, like water bottles or backpacks, and forgot to take home. Did you ever see something on a track surface that got “left behind” and no one claimed it? Not good. The clearer the track surface, the better for its long-term viability.

Routine Rinsing Schedule

Next, it’s a smart idea to wash the track using a hose and water– and make this a routine so you don’t get out of the habit. Say, for example, every third Thursday of the month is “wash down day.” That’ll be important in order to get rid of grime, algae, moss, and/or sand.

Use the Track for the Right Purpose

One thing people who own tracks often ask is “Can I bring wheeled vehicles on my track?” The simple answer: “Don’t do it!” Keep in mind that a running track surface is designed for runners, not vehicles. Therefore, a running track surface is not designed to withstand the pressure of tire friction. If you were to bring an ATV on the track, with its stops and starts and turns, you’d be damaging the track surface. Over time, wheeled vehicles would make the surface deteriorate. If and when things like mowers need to travel over the track surface, protective mats should be placed down at crossing points for those times (and then removed when done, to avoid moisture getting trapped between the mat and surface).

Running tracks are designed for flat sole surface shoes— running shoes, cross-training shoes, and tennis shoes work well. Obviously, you wouldn’t want a lady in high heels or a soccer player with spiked needle cleats walking all over your running track.

Don’t Overthink the Weather

What about winter? In some areas, snow covers the track surface. In order to clear the surface, it’s okay to walk/run on the track with the snow cover. This will help expose some areas of the track (thanks to traffic) and thus allow the sun to melt/remove the snow. Now some caretakers want to shovel or “snow blow” the track by mechanical means– this should not be done unless you want your surface tore up– and then you’d need to make patches and repairs. Ideally, you want to have people walk/run on the snow-covered track and let nature take its course.

Guard the Boundary

What about grass near the track? In general, there should be a 6” border between the track base and the edge of grass. Oftentimes, ROUNDUP is used in this space, which helps kill off weeds and such from encroaching toward the track. Meanwhile, when the mower cuts grass near the track, it’s important that they aim the grass chute away from the track– that way grass clippings won’t end up on the track. If grass clippings do end up on the track surface, they should be blown off of it. Otherwise, moisture can/will accumulate, which can clog the surface’s pores and cause deterioration.

Speaking of moisture, if there’s a sprinkler system nearby, make sure it’s monitored and adjusted so it’s not watering the track surface. If and when you start to notice that water is not draining properly from the track surface, especially after heavy rains, you might need to flush lines in order to maintain drainage to the area. If and when you notice “bubbles” in the track surface, that’s a sign that water is not draining properly and that issue needs to be addressed.

Use All Lanes

Finally, in order to maintain your running track, try to use all lanes rather than just sticking to one or two. That way, you’re not putting excessive wear on just one part of the track over time.

Class Turf Company provides athletic and running track surfaces  utilizing post tension technology. To learn more about the benefits of our running surfaces, contact us today.