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RAGBRAI Training: Let's Get Ready to Ride in 2022!

  • 11 February, 2022
  • Andrea Parrott

Greetings RAGBRAI’ers

Welcome to the RAGBRAI Training Blog for 2022.

This year’s route will cover 430 miles.  It has a total of 11,900 feet of total climbing.  This is the 11th shortest RAGBRAI and 18th shortest in the 49 year history of this ride.  However, there is something new this year. In year’s past there was always an optional 100 mile (century) loop available to riders who wanted to accomplish this feat.  For cyclists, a century ride is kind of like what a marathon is to runners – it’s a milestone goal many cyclists have on our ‘Bike-it list’.  Well, this year the organizers decided to make one of the days a full century distance for everyone, not just optional. I know this has caused some reason for anxiety among some of you who haven’t ever ridden a century.  But I’m here to tell you that you can do it. I’ve coached a number of beginner riders who set a goal to ride 20 miles and ended up being able to ride 100!

As I past years, I have put together the ever-popular RAGBRAI training plan.  However, this year it’s been  modified to increase the distance of your longest training ride to prepare you for the century day. This training plan is a guide to help you determine how much riding you should be doing to be ready for RAGBRAI.  Now 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 ride gradually increases by about 5 miles per week and goes up to 80 miles. Why 80 miles and not 100?  Because if you can ride 80 miles in training, you should be able to ride 100 miles on RAGBRAI.  After all, you have all day to do the ride during RAGBRAI. You can ride at a fairly mellow speed (8-10 MPH) and still get in the 100 miles before dark, and that even gives you ample time to make multiple breaks along the way. You can do it!

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

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 www.cyclesportcoaching.com.

Here’s wishing you a healthy and successful RAGBRAI 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.

3 Comments

  1. Jaime

    The 100 miles ride could or should be Friday, if possible

  2. KJES

    Age 64, first RAGBRAI, I started my training schedule last week. I’m so charged to see if I can accomplish this.

  3. Bluewailer

    I just completed my first Ragbrai 2022 and this training program works like a champ. I performed most of this training plan and only missed 2.5 weeks; one week due to Covid and 1.5 weeks due to a vacation. I completed around 1600 miles in the spring 2022 and was very prepared for the Ragbrai. The temperature for the 2022 Ragbrai was very favorable since the highs were between 75F and 85F. My training was performed in central NY and I did not have many hot humid weather to ride. However, I had plenty of wind like Iowa.

    Thanks for providing this training plan. I would highly recommend it.

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