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RAGBRAI Training: It’s Time to Kick off this RAGBRAI Training Party!

  • 4 March, 2019
  • TJ Juskiewicz

by Coach David Ertl

We have record snow in Iowa right now but that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to RAGBRAI.  In five short months, RAGBRAI will be back.  Will you be ready?

To help you out, I am once again attaching my RAGBRAI Training Plan.  I have received a lot of great feedback on the helpfulness of this plan, as simple as it is, so I am happy to provide it to you again. It will help provide you a guide for the number of miles you might consider doing in training leading up to RAGBRAI in July.  Yes, you have five months to prepare, but time will go fast so it’s not too early to start thinking about getting (back) on your bike and starting to get your body in shape. If you are snowbound like us, there are many options for getting going on training. It can be on an indoor trainer, outside on a fat bike, in a spin class, or off the bike on snowshoes, XC skis or skates.

Attached here is a PDF file which you can print and keep handy throughout this training season.  I’ve also attached an Excel file version in case you want to use it as a training log to type in your actual training miles.  This plan has proven useful by many riders over the years and I hope you find it helpful as well.  Use it as a guide. Don’t feel you have to do the exact number of rides or miles on the exact days indicated.  But you should aim for your longest ride to be about as long as the longest ride listed for each week, and putting in the total number of miles each week as indicated.  It’s best to spread your miles out over several days and not to pack them all in on weekends.

Click to download the PDF of the RAGBRAI Training Plan 

Click to download the Excel File of the RAGBRAI Training Plan

I look forward to helping you again this season. If you have topics you would like to have me cover, please email me at coach@cyclesportcoaching.com . I look forward to hearing from you and writing about topics of interest to you.

Here’s to a successful training season!

Coach David Ertl

David Ertl is a USA Cycling Level 1 Coach. He coaches the Des Moines Cycle Club Race Team, JDRF Ride To Cure Diabetes and individual cyclists through the Peaks Coaching Group. He also provides cycling training plans and ebooks at his website: http://www.CyclesportCoaching.com . He can be contacted at coach@cyclesportcoaching.com.




  1. danwaterloo

    Hi David, Thanks for posting this! going to try to train a bit more this year, and this helps! Now to get rid of that troublesome ‘work’ schedule, to clear the way for Ragbrai! Dan

  2. Sean Barrett

    Great. And thanks for the spreadsheet. I plan on adding another column so my daughter can track her progress next to dad.

  3. Biff Baker

    This is our third ragbri. Every year we meet a lot of great people in Iowa and I’m always hesitant to admit we’re from Southern California, because, you know, it’s California. But on the plus side, theirs no snow, so training season is longer. At 62 I need that. See you all in July.

  4. James Airey

    Well shoot, now I feel like an over achiever big time since as of this weekend I had logged in 1,700 miles since 01 January. I will admit it is on my trainer here in Colorado, but still. I’m up to 30-32 miles a day in 2:20-2:30 and looking forward to the start of better weather and the ride season to start.


  5. Tharold Northup

    As an 88 year old, I am going to try.

  6. loujgibbons

    Greetings David. Thanks a bunch for providing your training guide! I started your program two weeks ago and I am slowly getting my riding legs under me. Living in suburban Philadelphia I have not been too keen on training outside this winter. But it appears (knock on wood) winter is behind us and I have been able to get outdoors to ride. It looks like if I follow your program to the letter I will have about 1,725 miles of riding prior to flying out to Des Moines. That will be a ton more than I usually have under my belt before previous RAGBRAI’s. I look forward to being in killer shape for this year’s ride. Be Well, Lou

  7. Joe Dessert

    Thanks, David. I finished my first RAGBRAI. I am 67 years old and I started training using your log on March 13. I had no injuries and enjoyed RAGBRAI a lot. I don’t think it would have gone well without your help.

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