Summer is a much-anticipated season for outdoor enthusiasts living in Minnesota. As native Minnesotans are well aware, certain activities like running outdoors are only feasible during the summer months (save for those die-hard enthusiasts who add protective layers so that they can continue to exercise outdoors year-round). Maintaining an exercise regimen is an important consideration for many, yet doing so during the winter months can be a challenge. If exercising out in the brutal cold isn’t for you, check out the best indoor tracks Minnesota has to offer running enthusiasts.

University Fieldhouse
University of Minnesota Campus
1800 University Ave. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 626-6562

Those who have been to the University Fieldhouse are often surprised to learn that prior to its current use as a recreational facility, “it served as an airplane hangar in the state of Washington.” After World War II, the hangar was donated to the University of Minnesota and was assembled where it currently stands. The building has since been converted into the University Fieldhouse and contains a 200-meter indoor track, four basketball courts, indoor soccer fields as well as table tennis accommodations, making it an ideal place for exercise enthusiasts to get in a good workout when conditions outdoors are unpleasant. Since the facility is also used by the University of Minnesota’s Track and Field team, among others, general public access is limited. To view available open recreation times, visit the U of M’s Fieldhouse track schedule.

(credit: CBS)

900 S. 5th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 375-0805
www.runmdra.orgWhile it might not have the fanciest of amenities (as far as running is concerned), running at the Metrodome is ideal for those who love to pound the pavement. Beginning in November on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m, the Metrodome concourse becomes a runner’s winter haven for a $1 entry fee. Sponsored by the MDRA, “dome running” offers runners the opportunity to work out in a warm environment free of treacherous snow and ice. An added bonus, it is rumored to be a lesser-known destination so you can enjoy running bliss without all the congestion many gyms possess. The Metrodome also hosts Rollerdome which offers rollerbladers and skaters an opportunity to get their four-wheeled fix during winter months.

Related: Best Tennis Courts And Clubs In Minnesota

Warner Coliseum
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 642-2204

Similar to what the Metrodome offers running and skating enthusiasts, the Warner Coliseum offers runners the opportunity to run the concourse around its indoor ice rink. For a $3 daily admission fee (or $20 for a 10-punch pass), runners can work out in an insulated zone, free from unpleasant winter elements. Approximately five quick laps around the concourse adds up to a mile. Open skating and hockey are also offered to the general public on the indoor ice rink for a $4 daily admission ($30 for a 10-punch pass). Skate rentals are not available, so make sure to bring your own.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

National Sports Center 
1700-105th Ave. N.E.
Blaine, MN 55449
(763) 785-5600
www.nscsports.orgThe National Sports Center is a 600-acre multi-sport facility, the largest amateur sports complex in the world. Part of a statewide initiative to improve Minnesota’s amateur sports facilities, the National Sports Center boasts nearly four million visitors annually. The complex consists of Schwan Super Rink (an eight-sheet ice arena), an indoor sports hall with a field-turf field, a 250-meter cycling velodrome and 52 athletic fields, among a host of other impressive amenities. The National Sports Center offers many opportunities for the general public to work out in its indoor, on-site facilities including open hockey and open skate.

Anderson Athletic & Recreation Complex
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 962-5920

The beauty of selecting a campus track for indoor runs is that there are often other workout opportunities available, as is the case at St. Thomas. The Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex offers runners a 200-meter track, as well as “an aquatic center with an eight-lane pool and a diving area and fitness facilities for both cardiovascular and weight training.” Fitness classes are also available to the general public. For more information on AARC offerings, including memberships, pricing and availability, visit the AARC contact information page.

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A Minnesota native that was born and raised Up North, Minneapolis is where Christina Kalinowski currently calls home. Christina appreciates irony, loves bacon, enjoys a hearty libation (drink responsibly, folks), and is an avid proponent of the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. Her work can be found at