Top Ten Places to Train Outside In Perth

I like summer…a lot. I love being outside and running around like a 3 year old with a sugar high. I also like training, but am not a fan of being stuck in a gym when the sky is blue and the sun is warm.

The idea of walking on a treadmill on a summer day is my idea of torture. A cross trainer would be even worse! Especially when I can burn more fat by surfing, kayaking, body surfing, riding the trails in kings park or hiking up in the hills…and it’s fun!

So here’s my top ten places to train outside in Perth.

1. Cottesloe Beach.

You can run on the beach, swim, longboard on the south side of the groyne, walk around and work off the icecream or fish and chips from the local retailers, and best of all, there’s some awesome workout equipment around. 2 lots in fact. The first is south of Cott by around 500m plus there’s another lot above the main beach on the grassed area next to the kids playground. It’s basic stuff but great for jumping, chin ups and pushups, or hanging a TRX from.

2. Scarborough Beach.

It’s the place I surf at most regularly and amongst the bevy of water sports you can entertain yourself with, there’s an amphitheatre which you can run up and down, plus it’s also host to beach volleyball during the summer, plus there’s workout equipment on the grass near the playground. And there’s plenty of room to run around on the grass and kick a ball and lounge about when you’re worn out. Of course there’s always a ton of people walking and riding bikes around the cycle paths as well.

3. South Beach in Fremantle.

This is the only place I know of in Perth which has basketball courts with ocean views. There’s plenty of grassed areas for running about plus any ocean activities you can think of. In fact any beach for swimming, surfing, running, etc will always be better than the inside of a gym.

4. Kings Park.

This place has it all. There’s the DNA tower, Jacobs Ladder and plenty of hills to run up all around it. There are a ton of bush trails to hike through or roll down on a mountain bike, plus plenty running around the outskirts of the park too. There’s a massive kids play area which is big enough that you could play on it too. And the park is expansive so running after a ball or a kite could take all day. If you want something less strenuous, wander round the Botanic Gardens and check out the wildflowers especially while they’re blooming in spring.

5. Anywhere in and around the Swan River and Canning River.

You can rent catamarans from South Perth foreshore and kayaks from a few places and get out on the river a long way down the Swan and through the Canning River through Riverton, Ferndale, Cannington, Kenwick, Thornlie, Maddington and Gosnells.

There’s huge parks all around like Centenary Park in Wilson, Shelley and between Point Walter reserve and Attadale reserve. There are bike trails all around if you want to set out for an all day adventure.

If you’re feeling even more adventurous you can rent windsurfers at Matilda Bay and mix it up with the kite surfers out there. Wake boarding, water skiing & biscuiting have a few special spots around too. I’m sure I’ve forgotten half of what the river has to offer so get out there and have a look around.

6. The Hills.

John Forrest National Park is great for bike rides and hiking, and there’s a few waterfalls around to check out too. In fact there are a ton of waterfalls up through the hills, but you have to look for them. One of my favourites is Ellis Brook Falls in Kenwick which is quite small.

If you have time for a drive, Serpentine Falls about an hour out of the city is awesome. It’s plenty big enough to swim in, there’s often Kangaroos in the picnic area and there’s a massive hill to hike up.

If you’re into mountain biking there’s the Munda Biddi trail that starts at Mundaring and weaves 600km south to Manjumup. And if you’re thinking about a long hike, the Bibbulmun trail stretches nearly 1000km south to Albany.

7. Any of the lakes and parkland…

heading south from North Lake to Wattleup, through Bibra Lake, South Lake, Yangebup Lake, Kogolup Lake, Thompsons Lake and Banganup Lake.

8. Whiteman Park.

There’s a huge area of parkland to explore and when you’re done running around you can check out the museums, wildlife park, art gallery and a bunch of other attractions.

9. Lake Joondalup.

It’s a big lake with plenty of wildlife around, so don’t run over any of it while you’re screaming along on your pushbike or roller skates.

10. Lake Monger.

Another prime lake not far from the CBD is the second home to many runners, walkers and cyclists. I’ve even been out there in a kayak and it’s plenty big enough to get paddling in.

Other places that are really good are your local park or playground and your local recreation centre. The pic to the left is from the local playground in Cottesloe where we used to train back in 2008. It had ocean views and I don’t think we scared off too many kids!

Go and join a social sports club or team and meet some more athletic and not-so-athletic people from your community.

Team sports are especially good for getting your weekly exercise in and having a good time while you’re at it. I’m much more interested in playing sports instead or ‘working out’ to keep lean, fit and healthy.

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