RAGBRAI XLII Countdown – July 20-26, 2014
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

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

  • What to look for Wednesday

    Here’s a quick look ahead toward Wednesday’s 38-mile ride from Emmetsburg to Forest City

  • RVs roll alongside bikes in Forest City

    Bicycles make the main appearance during RAGBRAI, but in Forest City, motor homes and recreational vehicles are king.

  • Munson: Celebrating a legend in Bancroft

    Tuesday was unofficial legends day on RAGBRAI XLII.

  • Milford police: Drunken driver injured RAGBRAI pedestrians

    A central Iowa woman was charged with drunken driving and failure to use headlamps late Sunday after authorities said she ran into two pedestrians who had been riding RAGBRAI, the ...

  • RAGBRAI, Lance Armstrong come to Mr. Pork Chop.

    Riders gave their best impressions of the pork chop call (check your volume before playing this video),

  • Time-lapse video: RAGBRAI through Bancroft

    We set up a camera in Bancroft to create this time-lapse video of RAGBRAI passing through. Take a look:

  • Braving the Karras Loop

    BANCROFT, Ia. — Some RAGBRAI riders decided to drudge through an extra 26 sweaty miles and conquer the Karras Loop, Tuesday. The loop, which went through Burt and Lone Rock, is ...

  • Video: Slow-motion toilet toss in Burt

    This is exactly what it says on the tin. The toilet toss in Burt on the Karras Loop, in slow motion.

  • Video: Meet the NPR crew and Matt Bernhard

    The Register's Michael Morain interviewed Matt Bernhard, son of Mr. Pork Chop Paul Bernhard, and Don Gonyea, Scott Horsley and Arnie Seipel of National Public Radio at the meeting town, ...

  • Peppermint spray refreshes cyclists

    "We're doing a peppermint aromatherapy spritz to kind of cool people off," said licensed massage therapist Christina Gibbs, owner of Spa-Dee-Dah.

Latest Videos

  • A high pressure system will bring cooler, drier air to central Iowa on Wednesday. RAGBRAI riders can look forward to a much more comfortable ride

  • Lance Armstrong met riders and the famed Mr. Pork Chop during a RAGBRAI stop in Bancroft on Tuesday, July 22, 2014.

  • Bancroft is the home town of Paul Bernhard, the original Mr. Pork Chop.

  • The Andorfer family, led by father Gene, 80, uses RAGBRAI as a chance to spend a week together.

  • We asked RAGBRAI riders about their porkchop from the famous Mr. Pork Chop in Bancroft.

  • Titonka firefighters hostes a water battle fundraiser with fire hoses Tuesday afternoon.

  • A time-lapse video shows the flow of bicycles through Bancroft on Tuesday, July 22, 2014.

  • The NPR crew and son-of-Mr.-Pork-Chop Matt Bernhard speak to the Register's Michael Morain.

  • Riders who took the Karras Loop for a 105-mile day got a special bonus: the toilet toss in Burt. We've slowed the video down for extra fun.

  • It's been very comfortable, except for being a bit warm when it's 100 degrees out.

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