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The contrast between indoor and outdoor track

If one thing remains the same, it has to be the design of the track.

If one thing remains the same, it has to be the design of the track.

Megan Phillips, Staff Reporter

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Though very similar to outdoor track, indoor track diverges off of it. As a part of indoor track, many students are also part of outdoor track. However, they are vastly different variations on the same sport.

Indoor track is often thought of as preparatory to the outdoor season. Indoor track is during autumn and winter, and outdoor is during the spring and summer. An indoor track is typically 200 meters long, whereas an outdoor track is 400 meters. An indoor track has to be completely enclosed, according to USA Track and Field rules.  This is typically seen as an advantage, so races run on these tracks are sometimes not recognized until a standard amount of time has been added. An indoor track has a maximum of six lanes; an outdoor track commonly has eight lanes. An indoor track is even more so unique because it can have banked turns; this banking is an advantage to a runner who competes on a flat track.

Events differ between indoor and outdoor track. Outdoor competitors race 100 meters, whereas indoor they compete in 60-meter races. Indoor includes the weight throw, however this event is not contested outdoor. In the outdoor season there is the addition of the 4×100 meter relay, 10,000 meter run, 400 meter hurdle race, javelin throw, hammer throw, discus and the 3,000 meter steeplechase. The javelin throw is an event where the javelin, a spear about 2.5 meters (8 feet 2 inches) in length, is thrown, and marks are based on distance.  The hammer throw is a field event in which a usually 16-pound metal sphere attached to a flexible handle is thrown for distance. Discus is an event in which an athlete throws a heavy disc — called a discus —in an attempt to mark a farther distance than their competitors. The 3,000 meter steeplechase is an obstacle race in athletics, which derives its name from the steeplechase in horse racing. As is obvious, indoor track is more focused on running, and outdoor is more focused on throwing.

Both variations on the sport pose their own advantages and disadvantages in posting marks and times. However, since they are not entirely the same, it is unwise to judge oneself on better or worse marks in either sport.

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The contrast between indoor and outdoor track