Sorry, fair weather fans: Summer is coming. No matter how tepid this past spring has been, temperatures are guaranteed to soar in the weeks to come. You'll only be able to hide away in air-conditioned comfort for so long.
Eventually you’ll be desperate to do something outside that doesn’t make you sweat like a you-know-what in church. Swimming may be your savior. It is a whole-body cardiovascular workout that doesn’t force your joints to deal with the constant pounding and pressure associated with activities like jogging.
So, where to go to get in your laps? “You want a pool that is at least 25 yards long,” says Bobby Patten, head coach and co-founder of Dallas Aquatic Masters. “If the pool is any shorter than 25 yards, all you’re doing is push-offs. That’s not a great workout. The pool should also be deep and have more than 2 lanes, with the lanes being on the wider side,” he says. “Otherwise, you’ll just be waiting your turn over and over again.”
What pools in our area meet these requirements? “For as many people who swim and work out in Dallas, the city is really hurting for quality pools,” Patten says. “If you go outside the city limits, you have a lot of quality pools.”
But we aren’t deterred by his comments. While you may have to drive a little ways, the following lap pools top Patten’s recommendations. Each has varying schedules with respect to lap swims, but all you have to do is check their websites to get the most up-to-date information.
5. Carroll ISD Aquatics Center (Southlake): Southlake’s pool is open to the public 5 days a week for lap swimming. The pool is 186-feet by 75-feet with multiple 50-meter courses. The fees range from $1.50-$3.50 per swim, or you can buy punch tickets, which range in cost from $40-$66. Annual passes are also available. It is located at 1501 W. Southlake Blvd. in Southlake.
4. Frisco ISD Natatorium: The FISD Natatorium summer schedule is posted here. The cost ranges from $2-$3 per swimming session, or you can buy a punch card from $40-$60. It is located at 7411 North First St. in Frisco.
3. Town North Family YMCA: This fitness center has an outdoor lap pool with 10 lanes that are 25 meters long, and it is heated, if necessary, to 81 degrees. The pool does close if the outside temperature is below 45 degrees. A private club, the Town North YMCA membership is a one-time joiner fee ($95 for families, $50 for individuals) and a monthly payment of $85 for families and $58 for adult individuals. It is located at 4332 Northaven Road in Dallas. The downtown YMCA —the T. Boone Pickens YMCA — also has a lap pool that might fit your needs, if that is a more convenient location.
2. Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center: It’s a private club, so you will have to join in order to use its pool, but given all of the programs, location, and additional amenities, it might be worth it. Two pools exist, but the best one for lap swimming is the 25-meter, 9-lane, 82-degree indoor competitive lap pool. A monthly membership will run you approximately $65, and you will likely have to pay a one-time initiation fee ranging from $75 to $300, depending on whether you were previously a member or any membership specials are running. It is located at 411 N. Washington Ave. in Dallas.
1. SMU Barr Pool: Consistently touted as the best lap swimming pool in Dallas, the Barr Pool is open to the public. The hours vary daily, but you can find the hours and unscheduled closings each day on the Barr Facebook page. SMU Barr Pool is a 50-meter lap pool and is open year-round, with the water heated during the winter months. Daily admission is $5, but summer and winter passes may be purchased. It is located at 6026 Ownby Drive in University Park.