As spring approaches, many runners start to think about the upcoming triathlon season, which kicks off March 31 with the No Label triathlon in Katy. That sprint triathlon is followed by the Ironman 70.3 in Galveston the next weekend, with a dozen more to come in the warm months ahead.
The running and cycling training can be done almost anywhere, but finding the right place to work on the equally important swim component can be more difficult.
Fortunately for Galveston County athletes, there are municipal pools in several local communities that offer lap swimming to the public at a reasonable cost. Texas City, Friendswood and Galveston all have pools open to anyone ready to hone their swimming skills for an upcoming triathlon.
Galveston’s Lasker Park Pool is the area’s newest addition to aquatic training. Along with a splash pad and waterslide, the complex features a 25-yard pool with lap lanes.
“We always have at least three lanes dedicated to lap swimming,” aquatics director Erica Gentry said. “We also offer training equipment that you can check out and use.”
Equipment available for checkout includes pull buoys, paddles, kickboards and swim fins.
“We have a top of the line facility, and it’s heated to perfect conditions,” Gentry said.
Lap swimming is available every day except Monday, when the pool is closed for maintenance, beginning at 7 a.m. on weekdays and later on weekends.
Texas City offers two different temperatures for lap swimming at the Lowry Fitness Center complex.
“The Lowry Fitness pool is a therapeutic pool heated between 86 and 88 degrees, and we keep the Doyle Natatorium at 79 or 80,” Robert McNeil, Texas City Aquatics coordinator explained.
Both Texas City pools have 25-yard lanes. The Lowry pool is available for lap swimming from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and later on weekends, while the Doyle Natatorium is open to lap swimmers throughout its operating hours.
Friendswood Aquatic Center’s 25-yard pool, while primarily for school and swim team use, offers public lap swimming on weekday mornings from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. All of the municipal pools are open to both residents and nonresidents, with season passes available that put training for a triathlon within reach.