RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

RAGBRAI Training: The 2024 RAGBRAI Training Plan is Here

  • 9 February, 2024
  • Andrea Parrott

By now you have likely seen the route announcement of the 2024 version of RAGBRAI. The good news, for some, is that it isn’t 500 miles this year, just a mere 424! On the other hand, it is the hilliest RAGBRAI ever, so get on your climbing legs. Iowa isn’t all flat after all. This plan will help you get the miles in you need to build the endurance you’ll need to make it across the state. However, you should add in some additional types of training to make sure you are ready to tackle the hills. I’ll be discussing those in upcoming blogs.

Before we discuss the training plan, here are a few ideas to consider at this time of year. It would be a great idea to get your bike checked over and take care of any maintenance, repairs or upgrades you may want to make. Shops are fairly quiet right now but they won’t be so quiet in June and July so don’t delay. It would also be a good idea to get the motor checked (that’s you!). If you haven’t had a physical lately, now’s a good time before you launch into a lot of riding these next 7 months.

2024 Training Plan
As in past years, this plan is meant to be a guide. It isn’t necessary to follow it day by day although you can certainly do that. 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 plan gradually increases by about 5-10 miles per week and goes up to 70 miles. If you are able to ride 70 miles in training I’m pretty sure you can make it through RAGBRAI’s longest days.

Two things you should try to follow are:

  1. Ride the total number of miles listed for each week. If you have to move the days of riding around, that’s okay as long as you can hit the total for that week.  You can do more or less days of riding (although try to avoid doing them all in one day!). You could spread the miles into more days if you can and that works with your schedule.
  2. Try to ride the miles listed for the longest ride each week. Working up to progressively longer rides is key to being ready for seven long days in the saddle on RAGBRAI. So this is the one ride each week you should aim to accomplish.

You are free to do more miles than listed if you can and would like to. This guide is meant to be a minimum number of miles to shoot for.

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

Click here for the PDF version of the training plan!

Click here for the Excel version of the training plan! 

If you are new to RAGBRAI, you might want to join the Facebook RAGBRAI Newbies group. There are 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.

Good luck on a great year of RAGBRAI training and riding!

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: http://www.CyclesportCoaching.com. He can be contacted cyclecoach@hotmail.com.

1 Comment

  1. Annie Moeckler

    Can this work on a stationary or spin bike?

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