Lubbock is a city of wide-open spaces and believe it or not, there are a variety of outdoor options to stay healthy. Don’t rely completely on health insurance, get some much needed exercise! Whether you prefer exercising on wheels, motors, or sturdy shoes, you can find an outdoor outlet in the Hub City. The plethora of gyms and activity centers can also give shelter in foul weather.
Here are some of the top recommendations for ways to stay in shape, whether you live here or are just stopping by…
Ok, ok, we KNOW there are no mountains in Lubbock. But that doesn’t have to prevent you from riding! The long, shallow inclines and canyons that crisscross the South Plains are viewed to be one of the best training grounds for long-distance biking. In addition, there are plenty of trails with rough terrain to hone your balance and skill.
The first 3 trails you should tackle are University Trails, Mae Simmons Park, and Buffalo Springs Lake. University Trails is fairly easy – just right to get you warmed up. Mae Simmons Park offers pathways for beginners to experts, with a total distance close to 14 miles and more topography to maneuver. However, Buffalo Springs Lake provides an expert workout. Both Mae Simmons and Buffalo Springs Lake are beautiful, too, so that is always a plus!
But wait, there is more! The Martin Luther King, Jr. Mountain Bike Trail provides trails maintained by volunteers, and nothing with a motor is allowed.
There are also several road/mountain biking clubs to join, including West Texas Cycling and Caprock Multi-Sport Club. These clubs have rides scheduled all year, starting from various points in and around Lubbock. Skill levels range from beginner to advanced riders, and consist of a variety of lengths, as well. One of our favorite rides is a difficult 25-mile loop done every Tuesday and Thursday through Ransom Canyon and the surrounding cotton fields.
Daily bike rentals are available. Rent bikes at Bike Tech, through the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, and at various bike shops around town.
Yes there is water in Lubbock. There is even enough for you to get your whole body wet! The Rec Center at Texas Tech is a great adventure, providing outdoor lap swimming, a lazy river, and even rock climbing. If you are a student or employee of Tech, you can easily enjoy the largest leisure pool on any college campus in the U.S. – the lazy river is 645 feet long!
But, if you aren’t associated with Texas Tech, don’t worry! All you need is someone who is part of the Tech life to go with you to buy your membership. From then on, you can go any time you want whether your sponsor is with you or not. So maybe you should invest in pizza and a six pack to convince a student to get you in!
Let’s not forget Lubbock Water Rampage. Visit the Pirates Cove or take the Caribbean Adventure. Float in the lazy river, ride the wave pool, or enjoy water slides. Then, get your energy back at the picnic grounds.
There are also several city pools, including those at Maxey, Clapp, Montelongo, and Mae Simmons. You can even get swimming lessons. The YWCA has in indoor pool, and Sun ‘n Fun will open this summer with a wild assortment of water activities.
Finally, don’t forget that we have several country clubs, all of which provide swimming, as well as Bodyworks and Premier Sportsplex with pool memberships.
Ironman Competition and Training
You can prepare and race in a half Ironman, right here in Lubbock. A triathlon is a race that consists of swimming, biking and running in that order. A half ironman distance involves a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile road bike and 13.1 mile run. If that distance seems too much for your legs, then consider a sprint distance which is a half mile swim, 12.5-mile bike and 3.1 mile run.
At Buffalo Springs Lake, there are multiple distances of triathlons scheduled for 2016:
- Doghouse Sprint
- Buffman & Squeaky Intermediate
- Marley’s Kids
- Easy Rider
- Tri-Raider Sprint
- Little Bison Kids
- Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake
- Off the Rock at Lake Alan Henry
- Little Antelopes Kids Triathlon
You can even attend the Buffalo Springs Triathlon Camp to get in shape for all of this competition.
There are over 5500 running trails in Lubbock according to MapMyRun. You can have your choice of scenic trails, suburban alleys, and maintained city parks.
The First Ag Credit run is one of the longer trails at just over 5 miles. Running at Lubbock Lake Landmark is another option, just be prepared for a lack of shade! A run along the shores of Dunbar Lake will net you 3 miles of exercise, while the beautiful Maxey Park Lake Loop in just over 1 mile. If you are just getting started with your running regimen, you might try the loop around scenic Tech Terrace or Higginbotham Park near Slide and Quaker both of which are .6 of a mile.
If being outdoors means you simply must have a motor, consider Family Powersports. They have their own park where you can ride ATVs to your heart’s content.
So, there you have it – healthy outdoor activities that fit just about any mode of transportation. Just be sure that you have proper health insurance, just in case physical activity leads to injury.
And remember – summer is just around the corner!