by Coach David Ertl

Here’s the annual training plan for RAGBRAI, back by popular demand.  This simple yet effective training plan outline has proven to be popular with you riders over the years and this year you have been asking for it earlier than ever.  It must the be nice weather we are having here in Iowa is occurring elsewhere and people are eager to get out and ride. That’s a good sign. The earlier you start, the better.

A few tips on how to use this plan.  This is a guideline more than a steadfast plan.  It is intended to give you an idea of how long your rides should be between now and July, and how much total weekly mileage you might want to aim for.  So pay attention to the longest distance listed each week and strive to go that far (if you can go farther, more power to you, but increase the distance of your longest ride gradually, not all at once).  Also pay attention to the total weekly mileage goal and see how closely you can get to that.  It is less important whether you ride three or five days each week.  Just don’t try to do the entire weekly mileage in one day!   These are set up for those of you who are busy on week days and have more time to ride on weekends. If your schedule is different, feel free to move the days around but still pay attention to the longest ride distance and weekly mileage goals.

You will notice the mileage of both the longest ride each week and the weekly mileage increase gradually, and there are a couple of weeks where it backs off to give you a break.  Again, don’t feel absolutely tied to these distances, but they are meant to be a guideline. If you accomplish this somewhat according to the plan, I am fairly confident you will be ready to tackle RAGBRAI.   We have received feedback from riders in past years who can attest to that.

Depending where you live, you probably won’t be able to ride consistently outdoors yet.  So find an alternative, such as riding a trainer or doing a spin class to start to get some miles in your legs.

Click to download a pdf of the 2016 RAGBRAI Training Plan

Click to download an excel spreadsheet of the 2016 RAGBRAI Training Plan

Good luck, have fun and be safe as you launch into your RAGBRAI training!

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: . He can be contacted at

Training Plan 2016