I travel a lot. And, while I’m away, I always look for the perfect places to train. Just recently, I had the opportunity to go to Austin. Before I got there, I looked up, “where to train when you’re traveling to Austin,” and nothing came up. So I searched for places to swim, bike and run. This is what I found:
There’s a great lap pool in the YMCA Town Lake. The facility is gorgeous. It’s probably one of the nices YMCAs I’ve been to (and I’ve been to a lot). The lanes are 25 yards in length. The pool is huge and has smaller pools for lessons. They have a master’s swim program there so if you are a member of USMS, you can join the group. (I would call first.)
I had a strong 1500 yards when I was there and then I proceeded to go into the hot tub. It was hot and very relaxing.
The showers weren’t great there. The exercise space was outstanding. It included some state-of-the-art equipment, free weights, and machines. The YMCA space was open and airy. A day pass is only $15 and well worth it.
You could rent a bike from a local bike shop and ride Lady Bird Trail or you can just run it. The trail is on a dirt path and has some real elevation. The trail runs around the lake and is 10 miles. It is perfect training for a half, full or ultra-marathon. The terrain is diverse. There will be times when you’re running on a dirt road and other times when you are running over a bridge. You will see gorgeous views of the Congress Avenue Bridge and at times, you will also see the city skyline.
There were many people riding their bikes on the trail but with the dirt roads, I would suggest a road or mountain bike. (For me, I would stay off this one with my tri bike. I’m sure there are lots of blowouts.)
Unfortunately, I only ran a 5K on the Lady Bird Trail. If I had known it was that far while I was running, I would have tried to do the 10 miles.
What I loved about it was that during the week it wasn’t that crowded. It does get crowded on the weekend, so try to get there early. My son and I took a walk around the lake and it was particularly crowded on a Sunday at around 11 am.
Another option for Riding
Instead of Lady Bird Lake Trail for riding, you may consider Veloway Park. It’s a 3-mile loop and is meant for riders and skateboarders. I didn’t go there but on the website, there are strict rules and regulations and looks like a perfect place to go all out on the bike and train. Since I didn’t go there, an Austin triathlete may beg to differ so I welcome comments below.