RAGBRAI XLIII Countdown – July 19-25, 2015
Friends of RAGBRAI

Training blog

RAGBRAI Training: Endurance – More is Better when Preparing for RAGBRAI



I had a frightening thought as I looked out the window this past weekend and saw 3 inches of snow on the ground.  RAGBRAI begins in two and a half months!  It’s hard to believe we will be baking and complaining of the heat.  If you haven’t already begun preparing your body for RAGBRAI, it’s not too early to get started.  But there’s also no reason to panic if you haven’t started yet as you have time to get in shape.  But time’s a-wasting so you’d better get going.

The main message of this article is that above all else, getting miles in your legs and hours on the bike is the most important thing you can do in terms of preparation for RAGBRAI. Because RAGBRAI is a tour and not a race, it means you can take your time and ride at an enjoyable pace.  Even though this year’s edition is the second ‘shortest’ in RAGBRAI’s history, 406 miles is still a long way to ride a bike in a week.  Therefore endurance is extremely important and is the most important aspect of training to focus in on.  Sure, you can work on hills and speed, but first you have to be able to go the distance.   Let’s look at three aspects of endurance to consider.  First, there is the physiological ability of your legs to pedal your bike for 406 miles.  This requires development of leg strength to push the pedals tens of thousands of times per day.  You don’t necessarily need a lot of strength, but you need to have the ability to flex your leg muscles many, many times without giving out.  You also need to increase the cardiovascular fitness so as to be able to supply blood and oxygen to those working muscles.  So by doing progressively longer rides as you prepare for RAGBRAI, you will train those muscles and cardio system to go for progressively longer time as well.  So really it is just putting in the miles.  Nothing special.  Just ride, more each week.  You do want to try to make your longest ride of the week progressively longer along with your total mileage for the week.

Another area of endurance you will need is the ability to sit on your bike saddle for hours a day.  This also takes practice.  Your rear end will get tougher as you do longer rides.  For some people, this ability to be comfortable sitting on the bike limits how long they can ride.  The legs are willing, but the butt isn’t!  This too will take care of itself by doing progressively longer rides.   If it doesn’t, make sure you are wearing padded bike shorts and you may want to check with your local bike shop for a more comfortable saddle.  Keep in mind bigger isn’t always better when it comes to bike seats.

A third area that needs to be improved through endurance is the upper body and arms.  Sitting on a bike leaning forward on your hands for hours a day takes some conditioning for the back, shoulders and arms.  Not only will long rides help prepare these muscles, but some gym work can come in handy here to strengthen these areas of the body.  Padded gloves will also help relieve the pressure on the hands.

The longest day on this year’s RAGBRAI is 83 miles.  The others are in the 50-60 mile range.  So if you can work up to a 60 to 70 mile ride in the weeks leading up to RAGBRAI, you should be able to adequately handle the mileage. Now more is better when it comes to endurance training.  If you can work up to 83 miles, that would be better.   A century ride prior to RAGBRAI, while not necessary, will only help you be stronger for this year’s ‘short’ RAGBRAI.  So as you are thinking about your preparation for RAGBRAI, put the focus on the miles you will be able to put in between now and July.  Refer to my previous post for a training plan guideline for how many miles you might consider for your longest ride as well as for each week.

There is no secret to preparing for RAGBRAI, you just need to put in the miles.  But you do need to put them in, because there is no faking endurance!

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.

2 Responses on “RAGBRAI Training: Endurance – More is Better when Preparing for RAGBRAI

Click For Source

May 20, 2013 at 4:13 am

My partner and I stumbled over here by a different website and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking over your web page repeatedly. I am really into sophie turner, models. Great post and I would check back again soon!

treatment for wound healing

July 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Cheers quite a lot intended for revealing that with all of persons you truly know what you will be discussing! Saved as a favorite. Remember to additionally check out this site Implies). Organic meat employ a hyperlink change design concerning us

Leave a Reply

Advertisement

Latest Blog Posts

  • RIDE RIGHT Safety Tip #6: The RIGHT Frame of Mind

    by Mark Wyatt, Iowa Bicycle Coalition Each year I have a few friends that want to ride RAGBRAI for the first time.  They seek advice on training and logistics.  It is ...

  • RIDE RIGHT Safety Tip #5: The Legal RIGHT

    by Mark Wyatt, Iowa Bicycle Coalition Veteran RAGBRAI riders understand the roads used by RAGBRAI are not closed to other vehicles.  You will occasionally see bikes, cars, and even large trucks ...

  • Daily Maps for RAGBRAI XLIII are Now Available

    The daily route maps for RAGBRAI XLIII are now available for downloading. These PDFs include the route, overnight, pass-through and meeting towns, bike shop locations, distance between the towns, ...

  • RAGBRAI Partners with ICEdot for Annual Bicycle Ride

    RAGBRAI announced today its partnership with ICEdot to provide emergency identification and notification services to this year’s participants. Now in its 43rd year, the week-long bicycle touring event will offer ...

  • RAGBRAI Training: The 4 H’s of RAGBRAI - Heat and Humidity

    In the past couple of blogs I’ve been dealing with the 4 H’s of RAGBRAI. This blog covers the final two, Heat and Humidity. I will deal with these together ...

  • How to Return/Exchange Merchandise

    Need to exchange or return merchandise? Send it our way! Please read this post to make sure you have the right address.

  • RAGBRAI Training: The 4 H's of RAGBRAI - Hills

    Here is the next installment of Coach David Ertl's series on the 4 H’s of RAGBRAI: Headwinds, Hills, Heat and Humidity. This week he focuses on Hills and how you ...

  • UPDATE: Wristband Packages and Registration

    RAGBRAI Wristband Package Shipping We will be shipping wristband packages until the end of June, so don’t worry if you have not received your package yet.  You will receive an email ...

  • RIDE RIGHT Safety Tip#4: The RIGHT Riding

    The most fun on RAGBRAI comes from the people. You can ride across Iowa whenever you want, but only during one week, can you ride with 10,000 friends. ...

  • RIDE RIGHT Safety Tip #3: The RIGHT Communications

    People who ride RAGBRAI do so at their own pace. No matter who you are, you are going to pass another rider or you will be passed by another ...

Latest Videos

  • Byron Stuart talks about the memorabilia he's collected by operating Byron's in Pomeroy.

  • RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz recaps the pre-ride.

  • RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz talks about the route from Hiawatha to Coralville

  • RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz on how to ride safely in bad weather

  • Bike shop owner and gravel rider Craig Cooper excited for RAGBRAI's first gravel loop.

  • Kathy Murphy of Cedar Rapids is one of the RAGBRAI pre-ride newcomers this year.

  • Mark Wyatt of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition says this year more stress is being given to safety for RAGBRAI

  • Scenes from the third day of the RAGBRAI preride route inspection between Fort Dodge and Eldora.

  • Scenes from the second day of the RAGBRAI preride route inspection between Storm Lake and Fort Dodge.

  • Scenes from the first day of the RAGBRAI preride route inspection between Sioux City and Storm Lake.

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).

© 2015 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy