And, of course, the more pain that comes your way when you race, the better you are doing. Whoever has the highest pain threshold is a winner, or is at least guaranteed to have a good race, to play an important part. I think often about what Eddy Merckx once said: When a race feels easy everyone can attack, but when you’re in awful pain that’s the moment an attack really matters, because all the others are hurting as much as you. Those are the moments that decide races, Eddy believed—and who am I to not respect the opinion of the greatest cyclist of all time.
There have been many moments in races when I have said to myself, “Okay Jensie, you are a good rider and if this hurts you this much then everybody else around you must be close to quitting, too.” That’s when I just refuse to give in, to let myself get intimidated by how much pain the race is raining down on us.
I would not exactly call pain a friend. But it is a constant companion in my life. Sometimes I say that pain is my favorite enemy. We have this love-hate relationship. We keep watching each other and waiting for the other one to show some weakness, to give in. Every morning when I jump on my bike, it takes only seconds for me to think, “Ah—there you are my old enemy, let’s get it on for one more day!” The pain and me, nothing can keep us apart. It keeps me going. It keeps me young.
[I need to apply Rule 5 to my rides.]
Source: Hardly Serious with Jens Voigt