You know what I'm talking about - the feeling of utter exhaustion, the legs are heavy, tired and full of lactic acid. The taste of blood is all too prevalent, no matter how much air the lungs seem to draw in, it is just not enough. The heart rate is through the roof and the feeling of dizziness has set in.
Most sane people would regard it as madness to do something like this, willingly and knowingly. Not to mention that it's not done once, oh no, it needs to be done over and over and over again. How? Why? These are questions that have been asked, but can anyone really answer them?
These sessions are so hard and mentally demanding that it takes two days to prepare, to find motivation and inner strength. To push one's body so close to the edge, over and over again, it takes mental focus. It's all too easy to be “nice" to oneself and not put in the required intensity.
Rain, snow, sleet, sun, cold, wet, hot - it doesn't matter, these sessions are what brings us up to the next level. They need to be completed properly and somewhat frequently. It's all about walking up the ladder, one step at a time. There are no limits for the person that wants to succeed, really wants to. But there are consequences for the individual that understands what it takes to make it. Year in and year out he must be willing to follow a rather boring training plan, to the “t". He knows that during the long, hard interval sessions he must be willing to push himself past the threshold of pain, far past it. Not once or twice, but over and over again.
There is hardly no excuse for dropping a training session, family vacation during the summer or 10 degrees below zero with blowing snow - neither will do. He must train. If you really want to succeed and you are willing to make the sacrifices along the way - you will make it.
I am a full-time endurance athlete, working towards the 2012 London Olympics. I maintain a blog, describing my ups and downs of training / racing. http://roadrace1.blogspot.com