Herne Hill Velodrome
If you’ve been inspired by Victoria Pendleton (who hasn’t?) to get back on your bike, then there’s no better place in London to do it than the Herne Hill Velodrome. It’s one of the oldest cycling tracks in the world; it was built in 1891, and hosted the track cycling events in the 1948 summer Olympics in London (also making it the only remaining venue from the last games). Perfect for beginners, the velodrome is not as steeply banked as others, and is a 450-metre track. There are loads of events going on each week, including the most popular track bike races and road bike training.
Address: 104 Burbage Road, Herne Hill; Hernehillvelodrome.com.
London Beach Volleyball
Fancy trying your hand at beach volleyball? Then the London Beach Volleyball Club in Shoreditch is the place to head. Open since 2006 and with over 120 members, the 2012 schedule will see classes in Shoreditch Park, Westminster, Crystal Palace and Score in Leyton and offers sessions for everyone from complete beginners to the more advanced. Perfect for honing your skills to show off when you finally do hit a beach, in other words.
Address: Shoreditch Park, Corner of New North Road and Rushton Street, Shoreditch; Londonbeachvolleyball.org.
Regent’s Park Running Track
For a proper track (without having to pay the hefty fees of an athletics club), make for the Outer Circle of Regent’s Park to its six-lane 400-metre track. If you’re after a lengthier run, then Regent’s Park itself covers 197 hectares and the bigger challenge of running up and down Primrose Hill – which is well worth it. Any aches and pains are instantly forgotten as you take in the sweeping views of the capital from the top.
Address: Regent’s Park, Outer Circle; Royalparks.org.uk.
Stoke Newington West Reservoir Centre
If water sports are more your thing, Stoke Newington West Reservoir Centre is a rather picturesque 30-acre reservoir hidden away in a leafy corner of Stoke Newington. You can join either as a member or pay as you go, and you can get to grips with sailing, try out open water swimming or have a go at kayaking. If the water sports team look anything like our pick of hot Olympic men, then you can count us in...
Address: West Reservoir Water Sports Centre, Green Lanes, Hackney; Better.org.uk.
For a real crack at what it would be like to be an Olympic athlete, then take the plunge and sign yourself up for the Virgin Active London Triathlon. It’s being held on the 22/23 September around the Excel Centre in the Docklands. On the Saturday there’ll be three race distances: the Super Sprint (which includes a 400-metre swim, 10km bike ride and a 2.5km run), the Sprint (a 750-metre swim, a 20km bike ride and a 5km run) and the Olympic Team Relay, a rather daunting 1500-metre swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run. All of Sunday’s races are Olympic distances. Better get training, then...
Address: One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock; Virginactive.co.uk.
Like our pick of the best places to try out Olympic events in London but looking for something a little less sporty? Try out a more sedentary activity with our pick of the best places to watch the Olympics.