Guide to Reducing Athletics Track Maintenance Requirements

PlaySmart introduces you to running track maintenance for a range of different types and materials. From dealing with water damage to the upkeep of track markings, we provide advice and installation guarantees for the best Athletics Track that will last.

What running track surface materials need to provide:

  • Firm, shock-absorbent flooring
  • Good drainage
  • Even ground
  • No trip edges

For a complete guide to athletics tracks from our surfacing experts visit our handy article with more information on ergonomic running tracks, material choice, and more.

Grass Track Maintenance
[left] Green artificial grass with white line Alt-Tag [right] Green artificial grass running track with white centre line

Natural grass tracks are incredibly difficult to maintain, requiring regular mowing and repainting of track lines. Even if looked after well, they can become unusable, slippery, and muddy with even the slightest adverse weather conditions. Creating the ideal athletics track surface that blends in with the surrounding playfield and natural surfaces is a great choice for a cohesive play and sports area, but the maintenance requirements shouldn’t get in the way of runners from using the surface.

A hybrid or artificial grass track can help extend the lifespan of your grass athletics track and minimise the upkeep requirements.

Artificial grass tracks can be installed with minimal disruption to the surrounding surfaces to create a minimal maintenance surface that goes above and beyond the usefulness of natural grass. As well as not requiring any mowing, weed-resistant membranes remove issues of weed growth that can cause a lot of issues for natural grass. Also, shock-absorbent underlays can create a great soft surface for ergonomic running tracks while reducing damage to the ground that can cause subsidence and muddy patches on unreinforced natural grass tracks.

Hybrid grass combines artificial and real grass fibres for a unique natural feeling texture. While still requiring some mowing and upkeep hybrid grass creates a stable grass surface without mud and patchiness that can occur in a 100% natural grass running track.

Rubber Mulch Maintenance

Shock absorbent track materials like rubber mulch provide an ergonomic surface to encourage running on tracks of any length without harm to the runner. Rubber mulch requires minimal maintenance. With great drainage capacity and available with weed-resistant membranes, rubber mulch only requires occasional washing with low power hose and sweeping debris when needed.

Depending on your choice of rubber mulch there may be different types of wear-and-tear over time, for example with recycled rubber, carbon black residue can be a by-product of overuse, fading the colour of the rubber and creating particulates that can stain clothes and shoes. However, this issue can be dealt with through more regular washing and sweeping later into the pathway’s lifecycle to avoid staining.

To maintain a vibrant and clean running track or rubber pathway, EPDM rubber may be preferable. Used as the material for fall protection pads in heavy traffic areas, this virgin rubber option has greater shock absorbent capacity as well as even fewer maintenance requirements without the risk of carbon black residue.

Outdoor Running and Athletic Track Markings
Colourful hand and line markings on a Daily Mile track

Daily Mile Tracks are popular for schools to encourage children to enjoy exercise. Adding a fun element using instructional track markings designating certain sections for running, walking, or even skipping is a great way to encourage all kinds of activity for a child’s running track.

Traditional painted track markings are prone to rubbing off and disappearing with use, making the track look worn down and old. Inbuilt track markings that last as long as the surface itself are ideal for tracks that see heavy use, such as Daily Mile or Golden Mile tracks.

EPDM rubber surfacing for mulch tracks can be used to create long-lasting and vibrant patterns to suit any style of track from fun to professional! With a higher tensile strength and fully coloured granules that won’t fade, EPDM is the perfect material for Daily Mile soft surfaces for your school field or public leisure area.

Avoiding Trip Edges for Safe Running

With overuse, the sides of tracks may begin to either rise or create divots or subside and sink into muddy soil, creating accessibility issues and safety hazards for path users. Installation with a professional method that takes future issues of this type into account is important for creating a running track with longevity.

Embedded surface sides and ramps make a pathway or track accessible to wheelchairs and cyclists while also reinforcing the edges of the track material, preventing damage that can spread toward the centre of the track over time as cracks appear.

PlaySmart’s installation team has a unique approach that matches the right type of installation to your path requirements, and the context of your surrounding surfaces. Raised, ramped, or seamlessly embedded sides of your track are available to suit the specifics and purpose of each installation to avoid difficult upkeep and repairs to bare edges of your track that are common as they are used over a longer period.

Find your Perfect Low Maintenance Running Track with PlaySmart

PlaySmart provides a range of materials, colours, patterns, and styles to suit any running track, cycle path, or walkway. Discover your options by getting in touch with our team or requesting your Free Quick Quote on our contact page.

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