Running is one of the simplest and most effective exercises for keeping the body fit and healthy. However, many people new to the sport are often confused about the terminology used, especially when it comes to measurements like how many laps make a mile. So, let’s dive into the question, “how many laps is a mile?”

Understanding Distance Measurements

Before we jump into the answer, let’s first understand how distances are typically measured on a running track. Professional runners use a standard 400-meter track, which is equivalent to 0.25 miles or 1,312 feet. On such a track, four complete laps are equal to one mile.

Indoor vs Outdoor Tracks

Indoor tracks, on the other hand, come in different sizes and lengths, ranging from 160 meters to 200 meters. Typically, these indoor tracks are oval-shaped with a smaller circumference than outdoor tracks. For example, a 200-meter indoor track would need eight laps to reach one mile.

How to calculate the number of laps required to make a mile

If you run on a track that is not a standard 400-meter track, you can easily calculate the number of laps required to complete one mile. For instance, if you are running on a 300-meter track, you will need to complete 5.3 laps (rounded up to six laps) to make one mile.

Running outside the track

When running outside, there are no pre-defined laps. However, runners can use GPS devices or smartphone applications to track their distance. Typically, 1 mile outside is roughly equivalent to 1.6 km, which is equal to 4 laps on a standard 400-meter track.

Length of Races

The length of races varies depending on the distance. Here’s a table of different races and their corresponding lengths:

Race Distance
100 meters 0.0621 miles
200 meters 0.1242 miles
400 meters 0.2485 miles
800 meters 0.4971 miles
1500 meters 0.9321 miles
5000 meters 3.107 miles
10,000 meters 6.214 miles
Marathon 26.2 miles


In conclusion, the number of laps required to cover one mile depends on the size of the track. On a standard 400-meter track, four laps equal one mile. On an indoor track, the number of laps required will depend on the length of the track. Outside of the track, runners can use GPS devices or smartphone applications to measure their distance. Now that you know the answer to the question, “how many laps is a mile?” lace up your running shoes and hit the track!