RAGBRAI Training: Welcome 2011 RAGBRAI riders!
Welcome 2011 RAGBRAI riders!
This is the first of many blogs I will be writing this season to help you prepare (dare I say ‘train’?) for a successful and fun ride across Iowa this summer. I will be writing a training blog specifically for RAGBRAI riders. Some will be focused for beginner riders and other will be focused for beginners and RAGBRAI veterans alike. But whether you have never done one or you have done them all, hopefully you will learn something which will help you on your RAGBRAI journey.
It’s hard to believe it can be so cold in Iowa now, yet so hot during RAGBRAI. Believe it or not, it is not too soon to begin preparing yourself for the riding season. The sooner you start the longer you have to get ready and the less fitness you will lose.
Winter is not for hibernation. For those of you who are fortunate enough to live in a location where you can ride your bike outside, you have it easy. You can start riding right now, if you’ve even stopped. Those of us in places like Iowa have something called winter, which is accompanied by cold air, icy and snowy roads, and wind chill.
However, even for us northerners there are many options for staying fit. Of course, many people have stationary trainers that they can ‘ride’ during the winter. Others choose spin classes which are an excellent way to stay in shape. There are some brave souls who like to ride year round in all sorts of weather. But, you don’t need to ride your bike to stay in shape.
Any activity which increases your heart rate and keeps it up for extender periods of time are good alternatives – running, walking, swimming, aerobics classes. But if you are buried in snow right now, then get a pair of cross country skis or snow shoes and head out for a couple hour jaunt. And don’t forget about your muscles. Cycling is great for the legs but other muscles get neglected. Doing strength exercises in the winter is a good time to rebuild strength and muscle mass, which we tend to lose as we age.
Check back here often for additional training tips and topics. Also, there is the training forum where you can submit questions you have about training https://ragbrai.com/forums/forum/training. I will comment on questions that are posted there.
So get moving and start getting back in shape!
Coach David Ertl
David Ertl is a USA Cycling Level 1 Coach. He works with the Des Moines Cycle Club Race Team, the Iowa JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes Team, and individual cyclists across North America. He is author of ‘101 Cycling Workouts’. You can read more about training at his website www.CyclesportCoaching.com .