RAGBRAI XLII Countdown – July 20-26, 2014
Friends of RAGBRAI

Training blog

RAGBRAI Training: Yes Punxsatawney Phil was Wrong, But it is Now Time for Training!



Punxsatawney Phil was wrong.  We didn’t have six more weeks of winter, we had eight more.  But the weather is finally warming up a bit and the snow is almost gone here in Iowa and we are starting to get out on our bikes after a long, long winter.  It’s hard to believe that in three short months it will be steamy hot here.   This article will touch on some items to keep in mind as you get out on your bike again this spring, especially if you haven’t, ahem, ridden in a while!

Bike:  Before you start putting a lot of miles on your bike it’s a good time to check it over and tune it up.    Be sure to check your tires.  Inspect them carefully in good light looking for gashes, holes or fabric showing through the tread and be sure to check the sidewalls for cracks.  If you see any of these, replace the tires right away.  Run through the gears and make sure they all are working correctly.  Check the brakes to make sure they aren’t rubbing and to also determine that they are grabbing the rim tightly when you pull in on the levers. Lube the chain and inspect the bike for any cracks in the frame.  Spin the wheels and make sure they are true and don’t rub on the brake pads (or frame!) as they turn.  While you are at it, clean it up nice as it is more fun to ride a shiny clean bike.  Also change the handlebar tape whether it needs it or not (it will).   If you find any of these problems, take care of it right away and if you aren’t mechanically inclined, have your local bike shop take care of it for you. It is money well spent for the reliability and peace of mind while out riding miles from home.  And be sure to check that you have tire levers, a pump or CO2 cartridge and spare tub in your saddle bag.  It’s a good idea to take the spare tube out and pump it up to be sure it holds air.  A leaky spare isn’t much help.

Body:  Even if you have been doing spin classes or riding your indoor trainer over the winter, you will find that it didn’t entirely keep you in road cycling shape. Use chamois cream as your derriere will have become a little more tender over the winter.  Start out by riding a nice easy pace on a level course just to get your legs and body back in the groove.  So start out gradually and build up your mileage slowly (5-10 miles more each week).    Save the hills and harder riding for later.  If you have ridden a lot in past years, it will come back quickly.  The spring usually brings wind.  Ride into the wind at your own pace.  The wind gets tougher the faster you ride so if you don’t feel like killing yourself, just gear down and take your time.   However, the wind can do wonders for increasing your power on the bike so don’t avoid it.   Also as the temperatures are cool this time of year, be sure to dress warmly enough.  Wear two or three layers of clothing so you can unzip or take off the outer layer if you get warm on the ride.   One word of caution about riding with other cyclists.  While it is more fun to ride with others, it may not be the best thing for you right now.  Depending on your fitness level, if you are riding with other cyclists who are stronger than you, especially early in the season, it will force you to ride much harder than you should first thing.  So you may want to get out for a few rides by yourself to get your legs back under you before trying to keep up with Joe Fastguy in your club.

Food and beverage:  Once you start riding more, you will notice your appetite wakes up and you will be more hungry throughout the day. You need to remember you have to eat on purpose again.  All winter you probably tried to stop yourself from overeating, now you need to intentionally start eating more.  Before you head out for longer rides (90 minutes or more), be sure to eat some extra carbs.   If you have a few pounds of hibernation weight you have accumulated since last fall, now is a good time to try to burn that off.  But rather than starving yourself prior to rides, go ahead and eat so you have energy during your ride.   If you go into a ride short on energy (carbohydrates in particular), your training won’t be very enjoyable or effective. Instead, cut back after your ride and in the evening.  Your riding will increase your metabolism and will burn fat when you aren’t riding as well as when you are.  Be sure to drink more during the day as well so you are well hydrated for your riding.  And don’t forget those water bottles as you head out the door.  Some of the most simple things seem to get forgotten over the winter.

Every spring reminds me of the spring when I got my first real road bike (yes, a 10-speed, I’m old).  It’s an exciting, fun time, and a new beginning with a set of new goals ahead of us.  Let’s make this the best year yet!

Coach David Ertl

David Ertl is a USA Cycling Level 1 (Elite) Coach. He coaches the Des Moines Cycle Club Race Team and is a national head coach for the the JDRF Ride To Cure Diabetes 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.

 

5 Responses on “RAGBRAI Training: Yes Punxsatawney Phil was Wrong, But it is Now Time for Training!

Avatar of Jean

Jean

April 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Will you be posting the 15 week training plan again? It was very helpful last year. If not, then do you recommend the 2012 training plan even though the route is shorter this year?

Nancy Rigler

April 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Just echoing Jean Ungers reply…..would love your training plan for this year…or a reprint of last years plan.

Jessie

April 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm

http://ragbrai.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Chart-Training-2012.jpg here is the training chart I found I think from last year

Coach David ERtl

April 21, 2013 at 8:20 pm

I am working on the training plan for 2013 right now. It should be posted soon. It will be similar to last year. Even though RAGBRAI is a little shorter, 400+ miles is still a lot.

albahja

September 28, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I actually do have confidence in most of the tips you might have shown inside your submit. They can be very begging which enables it to undoubtedly function. Nonetheless, the particular posts are far too quick for novices. Do you be sure to prolong these a bit coming from next occasion? Just publish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Advertisement

Latest Blog Posts

  • Mayor's Annual Ride & Run for Trails is Saturday in Des Moines

    On April 19th, join the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department for the 2014 Mayor’s annual Ride & Run for Trails. In addition to the annual ride, the Parks and ...

  • RAGBRAI XLII Expo Gearing Up With Great Vendors!

    You can find it all at the RAGBRAI Expo, where RAGBRAI begins! Rock Valley Iowa serves as the host for the expo, held from 12:00 noon until 9:00 p.m. on ...

  • Tour de Cure: June 7, 2014 in Clive, IA and June 28, 2014 in Coralville, IA

    Tour de Cure is more than just a cycling event. It’s a life-changing event. A day full of fun and excitement where riders of all levels join forces in the ...

  • RAGBRAI Training: The Secret to Training for RAGBRAI

    by Coach David Ertl I can already see the responses to this title and several will likely involve beer.  But to your dismay I will not be talking about that aspect of ...

  • RAGBRAI Week-long Rider Registration Deadline is April 1

    Your week-long rider registration must be finalized by April 1 (registration, waiver, and payment).  All week-long rider minor waivers must be postmarked by April 1.  Any groups will weeklong riders ...

  • RAGBRAI 2014 Registration FAQ

    The RAGBRAI XLII weeklong rider registration deadline is coming up ( entries due April 1) so we thought answer some of your most commonly asked questions to help make the ...

  • RAGBRAI 2014 Route for Saturday, July 26: Independence to Guttenberg

    Day 7: Independence to Guttenberg And now: The hills. The final day’s 3,000-foot climb is just about twice as high as most of the previous days. So if riders didn’t know ...

  • RAGBRAI 2014 Route for Friday, July 25: Waverly to Independence

    Day 6: Waverly to Independence The route zigzags northeast toward Tripoli (pronounced trih-PO-la, by the way) and then curves past the Sweet Marsh Wildlife Management Area, a refuge for deer, doves and various ...

  • RAGBRAI Training: Training Plan for RAGBRAI 2014 and How to Use it

    One of the most popular posts I write each year is this one – the one that has the training plan in it. Once again I have put together ...

  • RAGBRAI 2014 Route for Thursday, July 24: Mason City to Waverly

    Day 5: Mason City to Waverly Riders can rest their weary bones where older bones have been resting for a long time: at the Fossil and Prairie Park Preserve and Center ...

Latest Videos

  • Spring fever? Here's how to get your bike road ready

  • Tour the RAGBRAI XLII route with a flyover

  • RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz shares tidbits about this year's ride.

  • RAGBRAI announced its third shortest and second flattest route in its history on Saturday. Watch the full announcement party.

  • The overnight towns are announced for 2014

  • RAGBRAI and Bacon Fest are teaming up to create the "Bacoon Ride," a new event coming in June 2014.

  • Take a look back at the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa in 2013.

  • Nana's Delicacies served fried Jell-O, fried Klondike Bars, and Krispy Kreme cheeseburgers just outside of Hedrick.

  • RAGBRAI announced the 2014 logo on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013.

  • "Christmas in July" was a hit in Runnells last week during RAGBRAI 2013

Find us socially

Email Signup

Sign up for the latest RAGBRAI news and notes (if there is no news in a day, you won’t get an e-mail).

© 2014 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy