How to Count Laps While Running on a Track

Use technology to help you keep track of the laps you've run.
i Hemera Technologies/ Images

Counting laps while running on a track might seem simple enough, but when you're concentrating on your stride, or even occupying your mind with other subjects to help pass the time, it's easy to get confused about which lap you're currently running. The most efficient way to count laps is to use modern-day technology, either in the form of a wristwatch, a stopwatch or an app on your smartphone.

    Familiarize yourself with your electronic device before beginning to run around the track. You don't want to be well into your run, only to press the wrong button or reset the device's counter. Whether you're using a watch or a smartphone app, a timing function typically has "Start," "Lap" and "Stop" buttons, or the equivalent, depending on the manufacturer.

    Press the "Start" button as you depart from the track's start/finish line to begin your first lap. Run around the track and as you approach the line again, be prepared to count the lap on your device.

    Click the "Lap" button upon crossing the start/finish line at the conclusion of your first lap. Your overall time will continue to run, but the device will count the time of the lap. Depending on the device or app, it might track the time of each lap or just save your best lap's time. Continue pressing the "Lap" button each time you complete a lap.

    Hit the "Stop" button upon crossing the line for the final time.

    Things You'll Need

    • Watch

    • Smartphone with timing app


    • Get your device ready as you approach the start/finish line so you can press the "Lap" button as soon as your cross the line. Doing so at the conclusion of each lap will give you the most accurate lap reading. If you don't have access to a watch or smartphone, arrange for a friend or family member to wait by the line and count your laps for you.


    • Consult a doctor before starting to jog if you haven't previously attempted the exercise.

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