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RAGBRAI L is Coming – Be ready for it with the 2023 Training Plan

  • 3 February, 2023
  • Andrea Parrott

By now you have likely seen the route announcement of the 2023 version of RAGBRAI, and this year it’s a big one being it’s the 50th anniversary ride. To celebrate, this year’s version is 500 miles and roughly follows the path of the first RAGBRAI route. It’s going to be a big celebration. It’s also going to be a big ride, not just in terms of significance and participation, but also meaning a lot of miles and a lot of hills. This year’s version is the 6th longest RAGBRAI in history, and the 6th hilliest. How’s that for big?  But don’t despair, I’ll be here all season to offer you not only encouragement, but also ideas on plans on how to tackle this monstrosity!

Here’s a rundown of the statistics for each day’s ride:

Sunday July 23: Storm Lake
77 miles, 3504 feet of climbing

Monday July 24: Carroll
62 miles, 1818 feet of climbing

Tuesday July 25: Ames
83 miles, 1479 feet of climbing

Wednesday July 26: Des Moines
50 miles (interesting number!), 1216 feet of climbing

Thursday July 27: Tama-Toledo
82 miles, 3652 feet of climbing

Friday July 28: Coralville
80 miles, 3276 feet of climbing

Saturday July 29: Davenport
66 miles, 1604 feet of climbing

Total: 500 miles, 16,549 feet of climbing

The first thing I will do is provide you with my annual training plan for RAGBRAI L. This is slightly modified from last year starting earlier (due to popular requests) and to make sure you are prepared to ride half a thousand miles in one week in July! Hint – it’s not to early to begin. RAGBRAI L is only 24 weeks away.

But even before we dive into that, a few ideas to consider at this time of year. It would be a great idea to get your bike checked over and take care of any maintenance, repairs or upgrades you may want to make. Shops are fairly quiet right now but they won’t be so quiet in June and July so don’t delay. It would also be a good idea to get the motor checked (that’s you!). If you haven’t had a physical lately, now’s a good time before you launch into a lot of riding these next 7 months.

2023 Training Plan
As in past years, this plan is meant to be a guide. It isn’t necessary to follow it day by day although you can certainly do that. Keep in mind, this is a generic plan and may not fit your riding ability. It is designed more for the novice RAGBRAI rider. If you’ve ridden RAGBRAI previously, you know the drill and what works (or doesn’t) for you. This plan lists the suggested ride lengths for given days within each week, the distance of your longest ride per week, and the suggested total weekly mileage. You will notice this gradually increases the distance in the weeks leading up to RAGBRAI.

Now you don’t necessarily have to ride exactly the number of days listed, or even the exact mileage, it’s more to give you an outline of approximate number of miles to be aiming for. You can of course do more, but I would suggest this as a minimum, especially the longest ride of the week. This plan gradually increases by about 5-10 miles per week and goes up to 80 miles, because you have a couple of back-to-back 80 mile days coming up. You can do it!

This plan is available as a PDF document that you can print off and hang up for your handy reference, and it is also available as an Excel file in case you want to download it and enter your own mileage in it electronically.

Click here for the PDF version of the Training Plan!

Click here for the Excel version of the Training Plan!

If you are new to RAGBRAI, you might want to join the Facebook RAGBRAI Newbies group. There is all sorts of information shared to help you figure out everything you need to know about the ride for a first-timer.

Finally, if you are looking for a more detailed training plan, please check out my more detailed plan (available for a fee) at

Good luck on a great year of RAGBRAI training and riding!

Coach David Ertl

David Ertl is a USA Cycling Level 1 Coach. He coaches the Des Moines Cycle Club Race Team and individual cyclists through the Peaks Coaching Group. He also provides cycling training plans and ebooks at his website: He can be contacted at

News Flash: David is the proud recipient of the 2023 Newbies Award! Congrats Coach!

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