Wednesday, October 24, 2012

RUNNING FORT WORTH (The best local fitness hot spots)

Playing up that stereotype

If you think of Fort Worth and images of cowboys and donkeys appear in your head, you are only about half right.  Sure, we have the historic Fort Worth Stock Yards where there is a twice daily cattle drive, but Fort Worth offers so much more than cowboy boots and rodeos.  In other parts of the country, I am sure ya'll (just kidding, I never say ya'll) assume we get to work by horseback and spend our free evenings getting thrown off mechanical bulls.  I assure you that Fort Worth is a modern thriving city.  I sometimes go a whole week without actually laying eyes on a cowboy.  I love it here.  It has a small laid-back country feel (read: big open spaces), but big enough and close enough to Dallas that you can live an active city life without the crowds and snobbery.

I wanted to share with you some of my personal favorite running and fitness hot spots in Fort Worth, but I realize as one person, I couldn't possibly have experienced all that Fort Worth has to offer.  So I reached out to my fellow fitness friends, followers, and social media contacts to ask about local favorites from the people who know best; the people who live, work, and exercise here.

Whether you are new in town, just looking for new places to check out, or visiting from another city, I think you will find that these are some of the best fitness related hot spots in Fort Worth.

Wondering Where to run in Fort Worth?  My personal favorite place to run in Fort Worth is on the Trinity Trails off 7th street and many of the locals I surveyed echoed this preference.  Many miles of running, biking and sure, why not, horseback riding trails along the scenic Trinity river.  Although I have yet to see a horseback rider there.

Also mentioned by the locals as a favorite running spot was the Fort Worth Nature Center.
Another great resource for places to run in Fort Worth provided by the Ranch View Gang.

My favorite Fort Worth race is El Scorcho.  Not for the weak minded (or the particularly sane), this 50k/25k race takes place in the hottest part of the Texas summer, in the wee hours of the morning, at Trinity Park.  If you are just crazy enough to run approximately 15-30 miles at midnight in July, this is the experience for you.

If you prefer to run your races in the light of day like a normal person, some of the other local favorites included:
Fort Worth Runners Club Labor Day Race
The Cowtown marathon
Trinity Trot
The Fort Worth Turkey Trot
Jingle Bell 5K

As a runner, I know that it is important to balance out my runs with some good old fashion strength training. So where do the locals go to build muscle and strength?

Boot Camps:  
I've attended several boot camps around town and these are the stand-outs in my book.

Fort Worth Boot Camp:  If you want to run like a Kenyan, you have to train like one!  This boot camp is led by professional runner and native Kenyan, Eluid.  I can tell you from experience that after a few short months, I was setting new race PR's.  Located on Trinity Trail north of the 7th street bridge, it also happens to be one of the most affordable boot camps in town.

Metroplex Adventure Boot Camp in Watauga is led by hard-bodied but soft spoken trainer Ben. Don't let that soft voice fool you,  he'll whip you into shape around Capp Smith Park faster than you can say lean muscle.

Elemental Yoga on Magnolia.  I've attended Brynn's restorative lunchtime Yoga class and I found her to be a knowledgeable, and peaceful instructor.  Her soft relaxing voice will guide you towards inner peace and a hard body.  She offers a variety of Yoga classes throughout the day for all fitness levels.

As the only CrossFit box I've ever attended, I have to give CrossFit Super Sport in North Richland Hills a shout out as my obvious favorite.  While it is probably the least intimidating gym environment I've ever been in, as far as the other athletes personalities are concerned, don't get too comfortable.  They are there to kick your ass all over the place, for your own good.  I would say the trainers are super nice, but how can you can call someone nice who deals out burpee penalties like they are playing cards?  I don't mean to scare you. They are incredibly motivating and supportive. CrossFit is for everyone.  They teach you everything you need to know and scale the work outs for any fitness level, even for a weakling like me.

Other local favorites included:
Karmany Yoga
Abundio Studio (for Kick Boxing/ Barre)
YMCA Fort Worth
Fort Worth Running Company Training Groups
CrossFit G6

This is the fun part!  Where can we go spend our hard-earned money on some new work out gear?

I've always found Fort Worth Running Company to be a great place to shop, and apparently from the results of my survey, I'm not the only one.  With their outstanding customer service and knowledgeable staff, they will help fit you for the right running shoes.  In addition to great shoes, clothing, and accessories, they offer running training groups and host several local races.  They are good people who give back so much to the community.  I support this local, family-owned business whenever I can, and you should too.

Other local favorites included:
Lukes Locker in Montgomery Plaza
Lululemon Athletica Fort Worth

After all that running, strength training, and shopping, you surely have worked up an appetite.   What are some of the favorite spots around town that offer a healthy menu

I can't rave enough about Terra Mediterranean Grill in Fort Worth at West 7th.  I work in downtown Fort Worth, so their lunch buffet is a weekly lunch outing for me.  While they have a wide variety of delicious healthy Mediterranean fare, I might be happy with just a giant plate full of the most amazing hummus in Fort Worth on the planet.  I could skip the pita bread and eat it by the spoonful.  Seriously.

Topping the survey responses was Spiral Diner and Bakery on Magnolia who serves a menu of organic vegan food.
Sweet Tomato salad bar off of 7th street offers healthy salad options as long as you know when to say when (and you have the willpower to pass on the chocolate chip muffins).
Chipotle off of University is a popular healthy spot serving burrito bowls and salads with all natural ingredients.
Central Market was mentioned as a favorite healthy spot because of their many healthy options including vegan, vegetarian, lean meats, and salads.

Sometimes the best part of all that working out is the recovering and relaxing.

My personal favorite is Massage Express in Watauga.  Don't let the unassuming name mislead you, they are highly skilled and customer focused.  I usually request to be massaged by the owner Eric or his wife.  Eric has an interesting story, he was once a corporate bigwig (my words, not his) until he was severely injured in an auto accident.  He received incredible relief from his pain through massage therapy so he ultimately went to China to become a specialist in the Asian massage techniques that helped him so much.  He eventually quit his corporate job to to start Massage Express, so that he could fulfill his life's calling, to to help other people in physical pain through massage therapy.

Other local favorites included:
Perfect Touch Day Spa (for sport massages)
Mokara Spa
Path to Wellness Chiropractic
YMCA Fort Worth pool and steam room

All the opinions expressed are my own.  These are my personal favorites and favorites of the people that I surveyed.  None of the companies or organizations in this post compensated me in any way for the above reviews or mentions. 

Have you experienced these places?  What did you think?  Did I miss anything?  What are your personal favorite Fort Worth Fitness hot spots?  Let me know in the comments!

Keep Running,


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photo credit: "G" jewels g is for grandma via photopin cc


  1. Good post. You might also check out the "Where to Run in Fort Worth" page on the Ranchview Gang website - My personal fav spot is the Foster Park/ Overton Park area.

    1. Thanks Gary! That is a a good resource, I think I'll add to as a link to the post!

  2. So....I have totally seen Cowboys rising on horses at Trinity Park!!! A group of about 5 of them! lol Also seen...multiple Segway tours! And they are usually a little rude when you are running with a stroller in THEIR way....I mean come on! I'm running pushing a 50lb stroller and your riding on a need to get out of MY way! lol Thanks for this though! I am bookmarking it for future reference as well! Especially for restaurants and Yoga suggestions! :)

    1. HA HA Sarah! I've seen those segway tours too! so funny!! Runners should def have the right of way! :)


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