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RAGBRAI Training: 15 Week Training Plan and Log

  • 29 March, 2011
  • TJ Juskiewicz

OK RAGBRAI riders, here it is again this year, back by popular demand:  The 15 week training plan for RAGBRAI.  I have put this plan together to give you an idea of how to build up your riding in a very methodical and gradual manner to ensure you have the ability to ride RAGBRAI comfortably and to be able to finish it successfully.  This plan provides a suggestion for how many miles you should be able to ride each week to build up to RAGBRAI in shape and ready to ride.  This plan requires a little explanation.

First, I have provided mileage recommendations for four days of riding each week, Saturday, Sunday and two weekdays.  The two weekdays can be done any day you can fit them in your schedule but ideally should be done on Tuesday/Thursday or other midweek days to allow some rest and recovery before and after the weekends (i.e. Monday and Fridays off).  I have given you less miles on the weekdays, as I’m assuming you have to do your riding around work.  You don’t have to do the miles exactly as laid out, but you should aim for the weekly total each week. 

Second, these mileages are suggestions.  Experienced riders will look at these as low. The first week has very short rides.  Some of you are already riding much more than this. That’s fine.  If you can ride more, go ahead and do more. You probably will have no problem preparing for RAGBRAI.   But this plan has to cover a wide variety of riders and is designed to give the minimum amount of riding you should do if you are serious about preparing properly for RAGBRAI, especially if you never have ridden RAGBRAI before.  You can also ride more days per week than the four provided if you wish.  However, it’s a good idea is to take one or two days off each week.  Too much riding and too little rest will wear you down.

Third, there is a line under each week’s mileages where you can record what you actually rode, in the event you want to track your mileage.  Feel free to copy this plan to your computer or print this plan off and hang it on your refrigerator or by your desk. 

Click here to download a PDF file of the training plan and log: 
RAGBRAI Training Plan 2011

Click here to download an Excel files of the training plan and log: RAGBRAI Training Plan 2011

As you can see, you can easily build up your riding to levels adequate to conquer RAGBRAI, as long as you start far enough ahead.  I’d suggest getting out and ride starting this week, if you haven’t already.  But you certainly want to start training by the 17th of April.  Good luck with your riding.  Get started now while you still have plenty of time to get ready.

Coach David Ertl

David Ertl is a USA Cycling Level 1 (Elite) Coach and owner of Cyclesport Coaching. He coaches individual cyclists, the Des Moines Cycle Club Race Team and the JDRF Greater Iowa Chapter for the Ride to Cure Diabetes.  He can be contacted at Coach@CyclesportCoaching.com 


  1. steve lummer

    Awesome and helpful – this training planing is now posted next to my bike in the garage as well as in my office.
    Much appreciated.
    Prescott Arizona

  2. Jan

    Do miles logged on a spin bike count?

  3. linda

    I only rode my bike once in 2010 and that was a one ten mile loop. I needed to start out slow, so I started my training on Feb 23rd with 10 mile day rides. In March I moved up to 20 and 10 mile rides. I logged 140 miles in March and 60 in Feb. I’m just beginning to think I might be able to do this. I turned 63 y/o this month and I plan to ride Ragbrai with my daughter. Thank you for the training chart, I need to pick up miles. I have never ridden over 25 miles in my life.

  4. Nancy

    What is with the weird week between June 5 and June 12?? I’m sure July 21 doesn’t belong there….should it be somewhere else (obviously not July 21)…or what. But without it there aren’t 15 weeks.

  5. Nancy

    Sorry….It has apparently been changed. I copied mine right away with the weird July 21 week in there.

  6. KLA

    you are all so far ahead of me … I’m just starting this week!

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