If you include the end zone and sideline areas, five laps around a football field equals a mile. Running around a football field can be more challenging than running around a track as a football field has sharper corners and running on the grass or turn can make taking these turns more difficult. If there’s a track around the football field, running on this is easier.
My high school coaches loved leveraging the length of the football field and surrounding track for conditioning. Anyone who jumped offsides during practice was treated to one lap around the field that had to be done in a specific amount of time or else the whole team would then have to run. I don’t miss that in the slightest.
In this article, we’ll explain why running around a football field isn’t the easiest way to get a good workout and why the track is much easier. If you’re looking for cardiovascular training that uses the track or football field and is applicable to in-game action, we’ll highlight some of our favorite drills too.
- Approximately 5 laps around a football field equal a mile.
- If there is a track surrounding the field, running on this can be more enjoyable and easier. Four laps around the track equal a mile.
- Interval training can be done on either the track or the football field and is a great way to build stamina for football.
Using a Track Instead of the Football Field
Five laps around a football field won’t equal exactly a mile. Assuming that you’re including the endzones and sidelines as part of the “field,” 4.96 laps around the field will equal one mile. The sharp corners of the field can make it difficult to get an accurate estimate of the distance covered and can cause further rounding errors. 
If you want a more exact method of measuring your distance around a football field, there is a simpler way. Many high school football fields have a track that surrounds the field. These tracks are meticulously measured and have a nicer surface for running than the grass around a football field.
The corners of the track are rounded and more forgiving too, making it easier to maintain your pace and removing the need to slow down to take those tight corners. You also won’t have to do as much counting, as four laps around a track equal exactly a mile. 
It’s easier to track your distance and maintain your pace by running a track surrounding a football field instead of trying to run right on the perimeter of the field.
Distance Training for Football
Anyone who’s played football knows that there’s plenty of cardio work involved and many coaches are more than happy to use extra conditioning as a form of punishment. Getting in good shape may not be the most glamorous part of training, but can help take your game to another level.
Intervals are great at getting your body acclimated to the “start/stop” nature of football. Jog for four minutes, then increase your pace to a higher tempo for four minutes. Repeat this pattern four times and see how long it takes you to catch your breath. 
Sprint Stride Intervals
This workout allows you to maximize the length of a football field and provide another way to get your body used to the quick bursts and quick recovery needed to play football. Alternate sprinting for 20 yards and striding for 20 yards. Continue rotating until you reach the opposite end zone. 
See how many you can do before you need a break.
Your workout doesn’t end when you’re done running, lifting, or practicing. Budget at least ten minutes of cooldown time at the end of any workout to stretch and massage your lower body before calling it a day. 
In a pinch, running around a football field provides you with a decent way to measure your distance and improve your overall health. Several exercises use the distance of a football field too which can be directly implemented into any football training routine. But for running in general, I’d encourage anyone to use the track that surrounds many football fields instead. They’re more comfortable to run on and it’s easier to measure your distance and mile times.