Been There, Sweat That: Austin
World renowned for its music and tech scene along with popular festivals SXSW (2017 is underway) and Austin City Limits Music Festival, Austin is also known, amongst athletic insiders, as has one of the nation’s top sports, fitness and wellness epicenter’s and is one of the fittest cities in America to run, bike swim, and sweat, year round.
We checked it out and here’s how it went:
Our first stop of the week was Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, co-founded by Lance Armstrong, the ultimate destination for everything cycling including riding, social gathering, shopping and fueling! It is also home to Pedal Hard, an indoor cycling and training studio (which we probably should have visited as opposed to exploring the city outdoors in the second hottest month of summer!) Instead, we took to the roads with renowned cycling and tri shop with Austin Tri Cyclist, known as one of the nation’s oldest and biggest triathlon specialty shops. By 11:00 AM we were cooked, literally and figuratively. The heat was intense and we needed to cool off. What better place to do so than the local ice bath, Barton Springs Pool. We had initially planned to do laps but the frigid-temps served a much bigger purpose, cooling down. This amazing, beautiful and refreshing outdoor public pool is a must visit. Located within Zilker Park's 358 Acres, the pool itself measures three acres in size, and is fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees. For more temperate lap swimming, we checked out the beautiful indoor and outdoor pools at the Gregory Gym Aquatic Complex on the UT Austin campus.
Austin boasts a thriving running scene and community with over 60 local races, amazing trails, running clubs and overall community. We had the opportunity to check out the city and dive into the local running culture on the historic “Hike and Bike Trail” officially known as The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail This is a is a 10 mile roundtrip trail, along crushed granite, located in the heart of Austin at Lady Bird Lake. It is an urban path that winds around the lake and passes by skyscrapers, neighborhoods, ball fields and cultural attractions. Additional recommended trails include Barton Creek Greenbelt, a very popular area in Austin which is 7.9 miles long with 809 acres and begins at Zilker Park. With sheer limestone cliff walls, dense lush vegetation, and popular swimming areas, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is truly a treasure for biking, hiking (Barton Creek Greenbelt is considered the 7th best hiking trail in Texas), swimming, climbing, and more. Another popular route is the Downtown Austin/Capitol/Univ. of Texas Tour (4.3 miles RT. Start: Mexic-Arte Museum, near Omni Hotel). To find out more information on trails in Austin, check out Great Runs Guide by Mark Lowenstein.
Austin’s bustling fitness studio scene has a variety of innovative studios and classes. We popped in to renowned MOD Fitness and Yoga and Wanderlust to strengthen, lengthen and chill after all of our outdoor adventures.
MOD Fitness classes are a terrific workout! The studio classes offer a barre-based workout that takes an athletic approach to the principles of ballet, Pilates and yoga to achieve visible results. Much more than your average barre studio, they combine strength and resistance training, cardio, and stretching into a full-body workout. Classes and programming includes MOD BARRE, MOD BURN, MOD BARRE 50, and the Mini MOD Club (childcare while you sweat). MOD Fitness Founder, Marnie Duncan is a former UC Berkley Division 1 Water Polo Player and Swimmer, turned barre fitness studio entrepreneur and new mom. Marni Duncan has sculpted her business to embrace her lifestyle, empowering new moms to get back in shape at the barre.
Need to chill, stretch, or sweat in a different way? Try one of the excellent yoga classes at Wanderlust Austin in one of their two beautiful studios or outdoors at Pease Park during SXSW. On the regular schedule, they have a variety of yoga programming, classes to live music, events, and more. We took a great Power Vinyasa class (of course), but they also offer Vinyasa, Yostrong, Mindflow + Meditation and more. And don’t miss the terrific organic food, juice and smoothie bar in case you need to refuel.
Sweat it out at one of these local favorites:
Ro Austin - Ro Fitness provides three class styles: CARDIO Rõ, a 55 minutes all-rowing workout; COMBO Rō, a half rowing machine half core burn workout; and INTRō, offering some Rowing 101 for newcomers.
City Surf Fitness - Surf-inspired group fitness, where classes range from the Buddha Board yoga class, Pipeline Barre and Pilates class, and City Surf, which enhances cardio, strength, core and balance.
Black Swan Yoga - A donation-based yoga studio that features, artwork, luminous light, and music all curated by the teachers themselves. Their artwork expresses their own interpretation of the practice, creating a unique connection throughout your own practice.
9 Round - 9 Round is a kickboxing-themed fitness program that consists of a system of nine challenging workout stations developed by a World Champion Kickboxer.
LOVE Cycling Studio - This studio is dedicated to elevating your indoor cycling experience with inspiring 45 minutes classes on state-of-the-art Schwinn A.C. Performance Plus bikes with Carbon Blue technology.
Pure Austin Fitness - The indoor gym for outdoor people. Three locations-Downtown Quarry Lake, and Speedshop. This gym is locally-owned, offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor classes from swimming, paddleboarding, a climbing wall, spin classes, kayaking and so much more.
Sky Candy - This aerial and circus arts studio provides drop-in and series classes, workshops, and private lessons, creating a safe environment for people of all ages, skill level, and abilities and aspirations.
Title Boxing - It’s between you and the bag! Title Boxing is a boxing club where workouts change your body, clear your mind, and engages your spirit.