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The 4keys
By Coach Rick Sorenson

TDS-Training day sequencing
On the bike training
Learning to race

The Overview:
In order to really achieve your full potential as a bike racer, the 4keys comprise training areas that need to be learned, understood, applied and utilized. They work in concert with each other. Their strength is when applied together as a group. One is not worth much without the other.
I know through my career I have learned(through catastrophic fails and success)these racing system keys.  They are the bedrock of my training and my success. Understand that these keys truly create your confidence base. When the going gets really tough, you can dig deep with and have that confidence that you have a great system backing you up. 
And it will not fail you. 
It just won’t. 
I believe if something fails me in a bike race, it is not going to be because I did not do my homework. It may because the guy ahead of me is luckier or have more gifts, that I can deal with. There is nothing worse than second-guessing your prep after the fact. That can turn into a never-ending merry go round of experimentation and frustration. Half the time you do not know why you were good or bad, and that leads to a HUGE waste of time. 
As time goes on, I see rider after rider that think the key to being good is just riding hard. Like day after day, after day after day. Think about this, if all you had to do to win the Tour was do intervals every day, there are a lot of whack jobs in the world that would do that. Probably a lot of riders who would certainly do that to keep out of the Army or some potato field, but I digress. Willingness to suffer, and often, is obviously something we all have to do, or not succeed. 
So it’s more than that. 
Bike racers endure their fair of pain and anguish, and we do it in all weather conditions, alone a lot of the time and with little reward. To say this is a hard sport is a gross understatement. 
The great ones win because they have amazing gifts, obviously. But also they have to be mentally as hard as a rock, and smart, on and off the bike. And a killer instinct that will rise to the occasion when the going is the toughest. 
One of the great things about this sport is when you see them suffer, or fall and get up, we too, have all been there. Whatever you think of Lance, when I watched him go down on Luz-Ardiden, then scramble up and chase, slip out of his pedal and keep going, with a look fear and incredible effort etched on his face, it gave me goosebumps. I have been there. When you watch a Formula 1 driver go 200 MPH can you say,I have been there? 
Not usually, no.
The greats race against their peers, we race against our peers. It’s the same. Different skill level, same emotions, same effort.
So what makes great riders? Besides great legs of course..
I have seen so many attacks when everyone is cruising and fresh. So what? 
Show me a guy who goes when everyone is laboring along at HR 180 and now we are talking a winner.
Think about this. A group of 8 working up a climb at 10mph, someone goes, and goes hard. What happens? Everyone looks around like, nope, you go, cause no way I am  going. Maybe the guy wins, maybe he blows up. But he forces the other riders hand.
I have the reputation of being an aggressive, attacking rider. I coach the way I ride. But do you think every time I went, I thought it was the winning move?  No. But I was trying to make something happen. Most times, something did happen, and sometimes it was not good. But I tried. I MADE people beat me; I did not LET people beat me. Big difference. When I do that and lose, I can deal with it. But the races I gave away and there have been a few, those burn in my memory. The what if’s. Limit the what ifs. It will make your life easier.
Lets face it, one of the things that makes this sport so hard is you are faced with daily, close up introspection of your courage, heart, dedication and your smarts. That is something some people won’t do once a month, much less every day.
This is where doubt creeps into your mind and you hesitate. Hesitation in this sport can kill you. If you have confidence in your form, confidence in your system, it helps clear away some of the doubt. The very nature of this sport makes having no doubt an unachievable goal, but you can’t be paralyzed by it. That leads to 15th, and a long ride home wondering what the heck happened. 

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