RAGBRAI Training: 2010 Mileage Guide
I often get asked the question: “How many miles should I train before the start of RAGBRAI?”. My answer is that you should have ridden at least 1,000 miles on your bike before you start RAGBRAI (this year, not in your whole life!). While this may seem like a lot, remember that RAGBRAI is more than 400 miles long this year. If you break it down and start training by May, you will be able to get 1,000 miles in without putting in huge miles during any given week. I have developed a guide showing suggested training miles that you can use to prepare for RAGBRAI. CLICK TO DOWNLOAD TRAINING GUIDE CHART
This chart has two weekday and two weekend rides listed. With just four days of training a week, it’s possible to get in good shape to be able to ride an enjoyable RAGBRAI. This plan builds up mileage in a systematic fashion to 150 miles in the week prior to the start of RAGBRAI. There are a couple of easier weeks built in for recovery. The week before RAGBRAI should be easy to allow you to fully recover and be fresh for the ride. Don’t worry, you won’t lose your hard-earned fitness in one week!
If you can work up to 150 miles in a week, you will be able to comfortably ride RAGBRAI. This plan has you building up to 70 miles for your longest training ride. This will allow you to comfortably ride each and every day during RAGBRAI.
This plan is meant to be a guide, not a hard and fast rule. If you can’t ride four days a week, and can only ride thee days, adjust the mileage – the main thing is to aim for the weekly total and try to get the longest day in as suggested. If you need to switch around days of the week, that’s fine. And, if you can get in more days and more, that’s great. Just don’t build up to fast – try to increase your weekly mileage no more than 10-15 miles per week max. There is space in this guide to write down exactly what you were able to ride. Hang it on your refrigerator and use it to keep you on track for a successful RAGBRAI. There is a column labeled “Bonus Miles” which you can use if you ride more than four days per week.
In addition to the miles, be sure to find some hills to ride. Don’t avoid them because you can’t avoid them on RAGBRAI. Hills force you to work hard so they serve as a good way to get in shape quickly. Same goes for the wind. Use the wind as a training tool. Ride steadily and push into the headwinds and return home with the tailwind practicing your spinning.
Ride on – Coach David Ertl
David Ertl is a USA Cycling Level 1 (Elite) Coach. He coaches cycling teams and individual cyclists. He is also an NSCA certified Personal Trainer. Learn more at www.CyclesportCoaching.com.