by Coach David Ertl

Spring is here and it is time to get serious about your preparation for RAGBRAI.  It is a mere 15 weeks away so it is time to start building your miles and fitness.  During the past few years, I have shared a basic training outline to give you an idea of the amount of riding you should consider doing to be fully ready to tackle RAGBRAI.

2015 Training PlanHere are some tips for using this plan.  This is a generic plan that is primarily meant to provide you guidelines for the number of miles you should riding each week leading up to RAGBRAI. While these miles are not hard and fast, they do progress your distances gradually and provide enough riding to get you ready.  I have also laid out some daily riding distances based on riding four days per week.  These are simply examples and are laid out to give you some idea of how to spread these miles throughout the week.  Your longest ride should increase in distance each week, also on a gradual basis as shown in the plan.  The daily mileage is certainly subject to your customization.  You can ride more or less than four days and your mileage doesn’t have to be exactly as shown.  You may choose to do more miles if you are capable of doing so.  Note that I don’t specify the weekday to ride.  You can ride whenever it works best with your schedule, although I would recommend Tuesday and Thursday to give you a rest day before and after the weekend to allow you to ride more miles then.  The main thing to remember is to increase the distance gradually, both the distance of your longest ride and the weekly distance. You don’t want to overdo the riding to quickly, especially if you are new to cycling.

A rule of thumb I use is to recommend that you put in twice as many miles in preparation as you will be riding during RAGBRAI.  Because RAGBRAI this year is 474 miles long, you should aim for about 1,000 miles in training leading up to RAGBRAI. If you follow this plan exactly, you will get more than this.  So don’t be concerned if you don’t hit all the miles listed in the plan.

Click to download the PDF of the 2015 RAGBRAI Training Plan

Click to download the Excel Spreadsheet of the 2015 RAGBRAI Training Plan

Keep reading this blog for additional tips on preparing for your ride.

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: . He can be contacted at