Triathlon Tour Guide: Boulder, Colo.
An insider’s guide to swimming, biking, running—and refueling—in the footsteps of the many pros based here.
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You already know that Boulder is a triathlon training mecca, but here’s an insider’s guide to swimming, biking, running—and refueling—in the footsteps of the many pros based here.
Late spring (April) to early fall, when the average temperature ranges from mid-60s to mid-80s at the height of summer. Boulder weather is generally sunny and dry, but marked by warm, fast-moving showers in the summer months.
Denver International Airport (DEN), about a 45-minute drive from the center of Boulder, is serviced by 18 airlines, including Southwest, United, American, Alaska and U.S. Air.
Hyatt Place Boulder (Boulderpearlstreet.place.hyatt.com) is a newer property located on desirable Pearl Street that offers a lot of great (and free!) amenities, including a continental breakfast, in-room Wi-Fi and various “odds and ends” (forget your toothbrush?). The hotel has a best-rate guarantee, and with lots of high-end finishes in the spacious rooms, it feels like a steal for the price.
RELATED PHOTOS: 2015 Ironman 70.3 Boulder
Work Out like the Pros
Siri Lindley’s squad swims at RallySport, where you can hop in one of 10 Masters classes during the week (including one coached by Julie Dibens). Former pro Michael Lovato also coaches Masters twice a week at Colorado Athletic Club. During the summer months, you can get a workout in at the outdoor 50-meter Scott Carpenter Pool or select mornings at the Boulder Reservoir.
RELATED – Siri Lindley On Improving Your Swim: Have A Purpose
Climb (Almost) Every Mountain
Boulder offers a mix of flats, gentle rollers and epic climbs. Focus on the latter and ride up Flagstaff Mountain, which has an average grade of 11 percent (!) and totals more than 2,000 feet of elevation in about five miles. The switchback descent is no joke either—there’s a reason our brother publication Velo tests wheels and bikes there. For a longer, gentler ascent and incredible mountain views, do the 50-plus-mile loop to Ward, across the Peak to Peak Highway and down St. Vrain to Lyons.
RELATED: Richie Cunningham’s Ironman Boulder Course Tips
Blaze a Trail
Head to the Mesa Trail at Chautauqua Park for a 6.7-mile route of beautiful off-road running along the foothills. If you’re up for an even bigger challenge, the famous Magnolia Road is an 8-mile stretch higher than 8,000 feet that is frequented by world-class runners and triathletes.
Cycling groups frequent Amante Coffee in North Boulder for its high-quality Italian espresso, and it’s not uncommon to see local pros enjoying a cappuccino and croissant at Boxcar Coffee Roasters downtown (last time we were there, so was cyclist Taylor Phinney). If you’re looking for a super healthy, delicious recovery lunch, check out Shine Restaurant or Zeal, then splurge on the artisanal pizzas at Pizzeria Locale or seasonally inspired dishes at OAK, a Mirinda Carfrae fave.
In addition to 40 qualifying spots for Kona, Ironman Boulder (Aug. 7, 2016) offers a beautiful and challenging course that tours Boulder County and features a marathon course along the Boulder Creek Trail. Don’t want to tackle a full iron at altitude? For shorter racing options, check out Ironman 70.3 Boulder, Boulder Sprint Triathlon and Boulder Peak Triathlon (July 20, 2016).