RAGBRAI Training: Extend Your RAGBRAI Fitness
by Coach David Ertl
So RAGBRAI is over for this year. Hopefully you are basking in the thrill of completing this ride and feel good about your efforts. And hopefully you followed my blog and gained some good advice from it which helped you. I’ve had several people tell me how it helped them and only one person who cursed me for making her do all that training! I hope she found it was worthwhile in the end.
I was out on our local bike trail this weekend. Unlike the weeks leading up to RAGBRAI where the trails were packed, yesterday looked like a barren wasteland. I only saw a couple of people out riding (but one was in a 2019 RAGBRAI jersey so that cheered me up). I don’t really understand it – riders do all that work getting ready for RAGBRAI, riding and/or training, then they ride hundreds of miles in one week on RAGBRAI, and then when its over, they hang up their wheels and let all that hard-earned fitness go to waste (or perhaps to waist!). OK, I get it. Once the ride is over you don’t even want to look at your bike for a few days or maybe even a few weeks, but hopefully not for the rest of the season. But you’ve had a couple of weeks to recover. Why not get out there and hop on your bike and enjoy the great fitness you accumulated over the past few months? Fitness is easier to maintain than it is to build in the first place. If you keep riding, even a couple times per week, you will maintain much of the fitness you have. But if you don’t ride at all, in a few weeks it will mostly be gone.
I also get that some of you just do RAGBRAI and that’s all the cycling you want to do. If that’s the case, good for you, at least you did it and improved your fitness. But if you are more committed to cycling than that, you should want to keep riding to enjoy your fitness and to enjoy the great cycling weather. Some of the best cycling weather is yet to come. Here in Iowa, September weather is the best, in my opinion. Why hang up your wheels when you have both fitness and great cycling weather to enjoy? So keep your bike handy, and use it and enjoy it.
See you next year!
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: www.CyclesportCoaching.com . He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org