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



by Coach David Ertl

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 a 15 week training plan for RAGBRAI this year.  This isn’t really a formal training plan, but what it does provide is a guideline for how much you should be trying to ride in the weeks leading up to RAGBRAI. While I call this a training plan, I hesitate to say that you need to ‘train’ for RAGBRAI.  That sounds a little formal and may give thoughts of hammering out rigorous intervals.  To train for RAGBRAI, you basically have to just ride your bike, increasingly far each week.  This will build up your legs and perhaps more importantly, your butt, for the long journey ahead of you in July.   You see, you don’t need to be in tip top shape to do RAGBRAI, but you do need to sit on your bike and pedal it for several hours a day.  So that is what you need to train your body for.  Just sitting on a bike for four to seven hours a day would be tough.  But you also have to propel yourself down the road, in the heat and humidity, up and down a few hills. The more you can ride prior to RAGBRAI, the easier it will be. That is the key to ‘training’ for RAGBRAI.  If you haven’t done RAGBRAI before and it sounds daunting, don’t despair.  If you look over this plan, you will see it builds up to long rides of 75 miles, which is as long as you will ride on any given day in RAGBRAI unless you choose to do the Century Loop.  And keep in mind that you have all day to ride that on RAGBRAI, so physically speaking, it is not an impossible task.  It isn’t even all that strenuous if you follow this plan and put in the miles.  Yes, you will be tired at the end of the day but you should be able to get up and do it again the next day.   One rule of thumb I like to use is to try to get in up to 1000 miles of riding before RAGBRAI.  If that isn’t possible, at least aim for 500.  I know some macho types brag about not doing much of any training and go ride it but if you really want to enjoy yourself and feel good at the end of each day, ride, a lot beforehand.

This plan begins on April 6.  So you have a few weeks before this begins.  In the meantime, get your bike ready to go, and get out on your bike as the weather permits.   Starts with short rides, especially if you haven’t been following my advice and you haven’t been keeping active during the winter!  You might even want to just start out with 5 or 10 mile rides if you are new at this.  Try to ride two to three times per week at the beginning and then increase the frequency of rides and the distance.  But increase gradually.  You will see this plan only adds about 10 miles more per week, but after 15 weeks, that adds up.  Also add more days of riding.  By July you should be riding four to six days per week.  Not only is the challenge of RAGBRAI that you will be riding a long way each day, but you have to do it seven days in a row, so you should get your body used to riding almost every day as you are preparing.  One note about this plan.  You do not need to follow it to a T.   If you ride three days or five days a week, that’s fine. (Just don’t try to jam all the miles in one day). You don’t have to ride Saturday and Sunday every week if other days work better.  The main objective is to try to hit the total number of miles per week and also to try to do a ride that is as long as the longest one listed.  If you do these two things you will be in good shape.

So take this plan and print it out and write in with the miles you ride and see how well you can do.  

Click to download an Excel spreadsheet: RAGBRAI_Training_Plan_2014

Cklick to download a PDF: RAGBRAI_Training_Plan_2014

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.  Follow him @Cyclecoach on Twitter and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CyclesportCoaching.

 

10 Responses on “RAGBRAI Training: Training Plan for RAGBRAI 2014 and How to Use it

Avatar of ltyoungster

ltyoungster

March 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Thank you for posting this. I just sent a message to my team this morning that 3/14 is our official start of RAGBRAI training. Todays suggested workout was to find and eat a piece of pie.

Bannon Puckett

March 23, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Hi there! I just tried clicking on the link to download the Excel spreadsheet, and it takes me to this page where I’m not seeing the spreadsheet anywhere:
http://ragbrai.com/2014/03/14/ragbrai-training-training-plan-for-ragbrai-2014-and-how-to-use-it/ragbrai_training_plan_2014/
Is there another way to be able to download the spreadsheet? (Or am I having link problems because I am working on a Mac perhaps).

Avatar of TJ Juskiewicz

TJ Juskiewicz

March 27, 2014 at 8:54 am

Just click on Training Plan and confirm download at that page

Rose

March 30, 2014 at 6:17 pm

To Bannon Puckett: You may have to use Firefox for your browser. The link to the Excel sheet would not open with Chrome, but did with Firefox. You can also right click, copy image and paste it onto a Word doc., then print it out.

Rose

March 30, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Actually, it will open in Chrome. After you click on the link at the end of Coach Ertl’s post, then click on the small training plan link just above TJ Juskiewicz’s head, not the bigger link farther up!

Sam Kelsall

March 31, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Sam’s Rule Start with 600 miles then add 600 miles for every 10 years past 40. Do this and you will have a great RAGBRAI. This is my 30th in 34 years.. See you on the ride.

Sam

Bannon Puckett

April 2, 2014 at 9:40 pm

To Rose – thank you – that worked!

Carrie

April 4, 2014 at 8:33 am

Thanks for putting this together. Here is the working link: http://ragbrai.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/RAGBRAI_Training_Plan_2014.xls

Dan Kozlak

April 20, 2014 at 6:40 pm

First time for RAGBRAI. Just turned 60. No problem with 25 mile rides, but need to build up endurance. Have been spinning in the Winter, but now the real training begins. Was looking for a routine to follow—need some forced discipline.

Dan Kozlak

April 20, 2014 at 6:40 pm

First time for RAGBRAI. Just turned 60. No problem with 25 mile rides, but need to build up endurance. Have been spinning in the Winter, but now the real training begins. Was looking for a routine to follow—need some forced discipline.

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