Training in Boulder

Someone on the Endurance Corner Forum asked about the pros and cons of training in Boulder. Here is what I repsonded with: Boulder:

Pros Cycling: *Cycling terrain includes steep climbs, long climbs, rolling terrain, big shoulders on most cycling roads. *Plenty of bike shops with deep inventory for short term needs. Though I am not partial to any of them in regards to customer service; all on the same level IMO-->mediocre. *Summer Time Trial series, numerous hill climb races, criteriums and LOTS of cyclocross races. There are a fair amount of road races, but not as much as the above.

Pros Running: *Lots of trail options around the city and good dirt road system north of the city (around the reservoir); i run north for all my long sessions. *Classic "high" runs with Magnolia Road, Switzerland Trail, etc. *Two high quality tracks in the city (Boulder and Fairview High); two more tracks in the surrounding area with Niwot and Silver Creek. All are open to public use. U of Colorado's track has public hours, but very few so I'm not keen on including that one on the list.

Pros Swimming: *Three city year round city pools with the North, South, and East BoCO rec centers. All Short course yards. *Two outdoor city pools open in the summer months; one Long Course and one Short course yards *Two more private club pools with Rally Sport (yards outdoors) and Flatirons (Meters outdoors). *Boulder Aquatic Masters programs works with the city pools and has 3-4 daily session. Flatiron and Rally have their own programs as well (Flatiron is better IMO and I have swam both).

Cons Cycling: *I wish there were some roads that are as flat as the roads I trained on in South Texas. Most flat riding near Boulder still has a bit of a roll to it. I know pancake flat sounds boring, but I like long flat rides as part of my training.

Cons Running: *I don't really have a lot of complaints about the running. I think the variety, surfaces, and terrain meets all the needs of a triathlete's run training.

Cons Swimming: *The masters programs are a bit too crowded IMO. *Long Course pool is not open enough during the year (Summer Only).


It can be cold in the winter, but there is not a lot of snow and there is a lot of sunshine. I would concede that you might be better off training down south if you want to race in Feb-April, but if not there is plenty of good weather to train year round. Besides, the winter cross training in the mountains is a lot of fun.

All in all, way more pros to cons here; and in reality my cons are some people's 'pros' (particularly with the swimming; some people love the masters situation and couldn't care less about flat riding:)).


One point I did not include is probably the most important one of all: People to train with. There are many fulltime athletes training here so it makes it easy to have training partners during "working hours." I found many great people to train with in other locations, but their schedules often did not work so well with my own.