For those that grew up in the 80's you will remember David Lee Roth. He was the lead singer of Van Halen and also had a successful solo career. In his contract conditions he demanded a bowl of smarties with all of the brown smarties removed.
Diva right ?
When asked recently about this he explained it was actually a quality control check. What he meant was that if he walked into his dressing room and found a bowl of smarties without brown ones he knew that someone had read his contract in detail and that he didnt need to worry about as much about all the important requirements he had around staging, water, security etc. If he found brown smarties he knew that the quality of everything else would also need to be checked to make sure nothing impacted the standard of the show.
You may train, you may watch what you eat, you may look after your equipment - but do you pick out the brown smarties ? Do you make sure, when you go into a session, that the little details are right to get the most 'quality' out of the session ? In some sessions the duration of the interval and the recovery time is critical to get the best bang for buck out of the session. Mucking around with shoe laces, watch settings, chatting to your mates can all mess up these timings meaning the metabolic goal of the session cannot be met - it is a wasted session purely through lack of attention to detail.
In business there is an expression called The Six P's. Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
Next time you are heading to the track, the pool, the gym ask whether you have picked out the brown smarties - have you done those small things that mean that you get the best out of the session.