The making of running tracks matters--and thanks to new technologies, runners are breaking records because today's tracks help athletes go even faster. Well-manufactured running tracks, indoors or outdoors, focus on facilitating safety, comfort and performance.
Running tracks are most commonly spray painted. The number of paint coats applied to a track is important because too much paint can lead to cracking of the surface.
Governing bodies, such as USA Track and Field, and track manufacturers jointly decide on the track's colors. The colors of a school can be applied--such as for lines or inside the lanes--if a governing body allows it.
Running track surfaces, whether outdoor or indoor, should reduce pressure on an athlete's feet, absorb shock and be safe and comfortable for athletes to use.
Today track surfaces are increasingly built without mercury, a neurotoxin that can have negative effects on the nervous system as well as on the development of fetuses and children.
In the past, running track surfaces were made from clay or dirt. Beginning in the 1950s, new technology --such as rubber--paved the path for more resilient, safer and faster tracks.
Harder surfaces, such as the ones constructed of rubber for the Olympic Games, result in faster race times.