Training…and so it began.

So I started training a few weeks ago, for my first Ragbrai, with a few 5-10 mile rides. Mixed in going to the gym as it was still cold…still is. Felt like I was making progress and all x!#* broke lose. Now, gyms are closed so no going there. Question…What is everyone doing to train in the hopes Ragbrai isn’t cancelled? I’m still riding and did my first 15 miler the other day but I’m looking for ideas on days riding isn’t in the cards. Thanks and ride on!!

24 Replies

Jeff Hansen, March 28, 2020 at 11:07 am

All I do is ride about 3 times a week I will increase the length as time goes on. I try to get any where from about 800 miles and up I feel good about riding for the week.

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Larry Hansen, March 28, 2020 at 11:09 am

Its been just cold or wet enough here to not want to ride much either, so have been getting plenty of walking in, and just like when biking find a few hills to get the heart rate up.

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Kurt Hand, March 28, 2020 at 12:22 pm

Use the first day of RAGBRAI as training for the second day…and so on until you finish sore and tired..but finished. 🙂

This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Kurt Hand.

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Eric Strobel, March 28, 2020 at 6:39 pm

I’m not sure at 59 I would make it with that kind of training Kurt:) Did 17 miles today. I like the idea of mixing in a couple of hikes with some elevation gain. Have that here in Northern AZ.

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Mike Murphy, March 28, 2020 at 7:54 pm

This will be my 11th Ragbrai and nothing beats riding for training. The more miles you get in the easier it will be for you. I always suggest around 1200 miles before Ragbrai but I know it will be hard for some to do that. You don’t want it to be a struggle getting through the week. I see some who didn’t get miles in and they do not enjoy it. Ride, ride, ride, set mileage goals for each month and hit them. You do that and the ride will be fun and you will be able to enjoy all the festivities. You want to enjoy it, there is nothing like it,

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SFC JKL 2, March 28, 2020 at 11:26 pm

You can ride Ragbrai out of shape, but why would you want too? My theory is that the bike riding should be secondary to all the other stuff going on. Being in shape gives you more energy to do other things.
The weather has been terrible so far. It’s 60 and raining or 40 and clear. I got in 25 miles today with gail force winds. Tomorrow will be clear and 20 degrees cooler. Hoping to get in a metric.

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Eric Strobel, March 29, 2020 at 8:19 pm

I agree to be in the best shape is ideal. Finished my best week at 40 miles. 1200 miles equates to 65 miles a week which is very doable. I’m hoping I’ll be up to 100ish by June and find a century ride somewhere towards the later part of June. Any Suggestions for a Century ride somewhere near or in Arizona?

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Jboz, March 30, 2020 at 7:06 am

Decent weather where I am (Chicago area), so I’m shooting for 125 miles this week.
Today 15
Tues 20
Wed 20
Thurs 20
Fri 20
Sat 30
Sun (rest)

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Neil Havran, March 30, 2020 at 8:45 am

The weather here in Wichita is all over the place. When it is decent I ride either my ’71 Schwinn Racer or my ’83 Le Tour or my 60 Lb Worksman industrial bike. I did ride the stationary bikes at the YMCA but they are all shutdown now. I still have the old reliable 27 year old Schwinn Airedyne for indoor training. 347 miles as of yesterday.

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Eric Strobel, March 30, 2020 at 11:25 pm

Jboz, those are some great miles in my opinion…especially so early in the year. Way to go. I might be up to half that in the next week or two. Ride on!

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Jose Medina, March 31, 2020 at 12:15 am

In all the years that I have done Ragbrai ( 30) it is the heat that gets most riders not the amount of miles you have ridden. I always tell new riders that after you do a training ride , stay out in the heat. Go work in the garden or go handwash your car. Do not go back into air conditioning. I have seen riders put in thousand+ miles and had to drop out because of the heat. Do not just focus on miles.

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Amanda, March 31, 2020 at 8:24 am

I, too, am feeling the pain of not going to the gym. Yesterday was beautiful here so I rode 32.5 miles. I can tell I need consistent training but hopefully the weather will stay halfway decent to ride. It was great ride but I was sore when done. Today and tomorrow will be great days to ride too. And snow chances on Friday. 🙁

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John Richardson, March 31, 2020 at 9:36 am

I personally don’t train for RAGBRAI, for me it’s easier to maintain my fitness year round than to become inactive in the Winter and then try to regain it in the Spring. So far this year I’ve cycled just over 500 miles and have ran just over 200, as well as a few thousand sit ups, push ups and numerous weight workouts. I’m fortunate that I live in the country and am able do this all from my home. I think you are correct about the heat Jose. That is one of the reasons that I don’t use air conditioning at my residence.

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mootsman, March 31, 2020 at 11:07 am

65 miles a week isn’t great. Don’t think about x number of miles before RAGBRAI starting now. Think about higher mileage weeks as RAGBRAI approaches. Right now just get some miles. You not only need your legs in shape but arms, shoulders and back to support your riding positions for hours on end. Ideally couple of hundred miles a week for the 6 weeks before the last week before RAGBRAI. Rest the last week before RAGBRAI. And train up to the 200 miles a week also. And at least 1 65+ mile day ride during those weeks. If you want to be comfortable on RAGBRAI at any rate. I met a guy in 2017 that only rides RAGBRAI each year. He would get sore but still get it done. Doesn’t sound like it is a formula to enjoy RAGBRAI though.

The one post about training year round is the best choice of course. Even if it involves a trainer or spin bike. If you spin measure the ergonomics of your road bike: center of seat to crank axle, nose of saddle to imaginary line up from the crank axle, nose of seat to bars, bar height to saddle height. This to get your riding position as nearly identical to your bike as possible to train those upper body muscles

This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by mootsman.

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@Trykeman, March 31, 2020 at 1:22 pm

I only use my lowest gear on Ragbrai. No matter how big the hill otherwise. I call it my Ragbrai gear. I use it sometimes on Ragbrai even when I don’t have to, just because I can. It still didn’t get me up Potters Hill, but it sure is nice to have a gear lower than any I had while training.

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