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

  • Introducing the RAGBRAI XLIII Logo!

    We are excited to reveal our new logo for RAGBRAI XLIII and 2015!

  • RAGBRAI XLII Survey Results

    All of us here at RAGBRAI would like to thank those who took the time to complete the surveys after RAGBRAI XLII.  4,470 online surveys were completed, providing ...

  • Des Moines Could Move Part of Great Western Trail

    A section of the popular Great Western Trail in Des Moines would no longer pass through Willow Creek Golf Course, under a plan being pursued by the course's owner.

  • Lost and Found on RAGBRAI®

    Did you get home from RAGBRAI with less than what you started with?  Lost wallets, drivers licenses, and credit cards have already been returned to their owners.  We have several ...

  • Merchandise Returns and Exchanges

    Want to return or exchange an item you purchased on RAGBRAI? Here's how.

  • Meet the woman who rode RAGBRAI in combat boots

    Riders handed her cash from spandex pockets and small-town American Legions put up tip jars to help along the way. So far, Hameister’s raised more than $1,700 for the campaign, ...

  • RAGBRAI Reflections with John Karras

    by John Karras, Grampa RAGBRAI A strange, but predictable, thing happened this year to Ann and I on our way to our umpteenth time to ride RAGBRAI–we were physically unable to ...

  • Rock Valley's Jaydn Faber Wins the RAGBRAI Kid's Art Contest

    The children of the RAGBRAI XLII overnight communities were invited to participate in the annual RAGBRAI Kids’ Art Contest.  The contest called for students in kindergarten through fifth grade to ...

  • RAGBRAI Training: Don’t put your bike away now!

    Well, another RAGBRAI is done and in the books. I hope you enjoyed yourself and I also hope this blogs gave you some advice that helped you prepare adequately for ...

  • Top 10 things we'll remember about RAGBRAI XLII

    After 42 years, each ride can seem pretty much like the one before -- except when they don't.

Latest Videos

  • We are excited to reveal our new logo for RAGBRAI XLIII and 2015! If you join us on our ride across the state next year, you’ll be sure to see welcoming Iowans, lots of farmland and… well you’ll just have to watch the video to find out.

  • Look back on the ride of 2014 in this video highlight reel.

  • A group of friends from Canada spent the week on RAGBRAI and recount their best moments.

  • As RAGBRAI XLII comes to an end, friends from California talk about the emotion behind dipping their tires into the Mississippi River at the end of the ride.

  • Riders react at the Guttenberg dip site.

  • Riders stopped for photos on a bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi River at Guttenberg.

  • Iowan "Bachelorette" competitor Chris Soules greets riders in Strawberry Point

  • Former Iowa Hawkeye and NFL tight end Dallas Clark talks about his second RAGBRAI and his hope of someday moving his family back to Iowa.

  • The LeBeaus are known as royalty in Iowa and for their funky socks!

  • Jason Pardie, of Muscatine, is participating in his sixth RAGBRAI on a unicycle.

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