RAGBRAI XLIII Countdown – July 19-25, 2015
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Training blog

David Ertl Returns as RAGBRAI’s Training Coach



RAGBRAI Riders: 

Only 185 days until RAGBRAI XL!  The route announcement party is January 28 where we will find out how long (or short) and how hilly (or flat) this year’s course will be.  It’s not too early to start preparing (RAGBRAI speak for training) for the ride.  As I’ve done the past couple of years, I will be writing a training blog to give you helpful tips along the way and to give you some ideas of what to expect on RAGBRAI in terms of your physical fitness requirements.   My past blogs are archived on the RAGBRAI website if you are in a hurry and can’t wait to get reading. 

Some people scoff at needing to “train” for RAGBRAI.  After all, it is a recreational ride and isn’t a race.  However, it is about 450 miles of bicycling in one week.  That is a lot no matter how much you pace yourself.  Ask some of the veterans of this ride.  They will tell you that getting lots of riding miles in ahead of RAGBRAI will make the event so much more enjoyable and pain-free.  I will provide lots of ideas on how to ride – how far, how fast, hill training, what to eat, what to drink, what to wear, etc.   RAGBRAI is all about having fun, and being physically prepared is one of the most important ways to ensure you will have fun on the ride.

I’d really like to know what is on your mind, too.   I’d encourage you to write comments in the Training Blog forum when I post articles and suggest future topics for me to address.  I may overlook some of the obvious questions people have.  I want to make sure that I’m covering topics of most interest.  I will also be revisiting some of the topics covered previously that are just too important not to repeat.  So check back often and be sure to leave comments and questions in the forum.

Here’s to another great year of riding and RAGBRAI!

David 

David Ertl is a USA Cycling Level 1 (Elite) Coach and Personal Trainer. He coaches the Des Moines Cycle Club Race Team, the Iowa JDRF Ride To Cure Diabetes Team, the Above & Beyond Cancer RAAM Team, and he coaches individual cyclists.  He also provides cycling training plans and ebooks at his website: http://www.CyclesportCoaching.com . He can be contacted at coach@cyclesportcoaching.com

 

16 Responses on “David Ertl Returns as RAGBRAI’s Training Coach

Ann

January 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

I can’t wait to start preparing for my first RAGBRAI event and reading all about how to ride!

jeremy karlin

January 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

This time of year I’m on my bike on the trainer in the basement and at the stationary bike at the gym. Any workouy regimen you suggest that reduces the time but perhaps increases the intensity

Coach David Ertl

January 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Great idea, Jeremy. I’ll post an article on this topic as one of my first blogs. When forced to ride inside, intensity can compensate for duration!

Bearcat Bob

January 18, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Looking forward to your training ideas and encouragement. This will be my fourth RAGBRAI, We’ve done other states other years, but always return to the best ride in the country. My experience is that the photo that introduces this notice says it all. It might be a fun ride, but there are some long and steep hills, lots of afternoon wind, and then there’s that tent to put up at the end of the ride. So the better shape we’re in the better the ride. I happen to be mid seventies; only proving that cycling is a life long sport, and will keep us all forever young.

Tom

January 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Last year was my first ragbrai and I had prepared by putting in about 800 miles prior to July. Was not prepared for the sore raw butt though, any tips besides early showers and bag balm?

Melissa

January 19, 2012 at 11:44 am

Last time I did RAGBRAI was over ten years ago. Personally for me my issue is being morbidly obese and going from couch potato to training for RAGBRAI. I know can do it just not gonna be easy. I actually start my training today. Wish me luck!

Rob

January 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Coach-Is there going to be additional training guidelines for those who partake of the adult beverages along the way? You know maybe suggestions of sticking to lite beer as opposed to a stout in order to help hydration. Would vodka lemonade be preferred over a martini? Or just train more miles.

Bill

January 21, 2012 at 9:57 am

My only issue is how the heat and humdity combine with cycling trigger asthma problems. Other the albuterol which I already use is there any advise on dealing with asthma on humid & heat days on RAGBRAI?

Coach David Ertl

January 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Great ideas everyone, I will try to address them all in the coming weeks. As you can imagine we get a lot of joking about drinking and hydrating. It has been rumored that RAGBRAI riders enjoy a beer or two during the ride! Good suggestion to address how to drink responsibly and healthfully.

Paul

January 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Last year was my first RAGBRAI. I am interested in the best way to mix weight training with my biking.

Profile photo of AzOcean

AzOcean

January 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm

This will be my first RAGBRAI (on my bucket list). I was raised in Iowa, but live in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix). Pretty flat in all directions. How important is it to train on hills before RAGBRAI?

Cherioh

January 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I am also a RAGBRAI newbie and am very excited. I will be riding a mountain bike and need some recommendations for slick tires. I live in a small area and the reviews for the single brand of tires my local bike shop carries are not good at all.

mojocyclist

January 29, 2012 at 11:33 am

I am soooo looking forward to RAGBRAI. This will be my first year. Born and raised in Iowa, I have spent the last 25 years in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Since we just received a foot of snow, I will be very interested in your indoor training guidance. Thank you for your time and efforts put into this site. It contains a wealth of beneficial information.

Scott

January 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Anything you can do to help we indoor trainers will be appreciated. I have an Airdyne and can fit out a windtrainer if need be, but need to know what I’m shooting at.

Todd

January 31, 2012 at 10:33 am

I am also a first timer at RAGBRAI! I understand how important training is but where does one train? It’s a little intimidating riding out on rural roads with traffic. If that’s my only recourse then that will just have to do. Any suggestions?

James Mahaney

March 26, 2012 at 6:45 am

This will be my first RAGBRAI. I have wanted to ride in RAGBRAI for many years and I can’t hardley stand the wait. I am a born and raised Iowan and this is a great way to see our beautiful state. I train by riding up every hill I can find from Mason City and Clear Lake. We have had some great weather this year I was able to ride almost all winter and feel good about being prepared for this great event. See ya soon.

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