If you are talking standard struts meaning not the bilstein off the 2.8 cars then yes you will feel resistance. basically there is a rubber o-rings which i find jams it in.
Once you have removed the top nut you will have the strut open and the oil can come out etc. i find just stick the top strut nut back on top of the insert rod. Then empty strut of oil and then just hold the top of the strut rod and trying pushing down and pulling back up and try that a few times and it will slowly work it's way out. Maybe a couple of mins, but it will come. If the o-ring has completely perished and flattened etc it might be a right bitch to realease, but keep at it. You do not need to use any hard tools etc, doing it by hand will be ok.
I did mine recently when converting to coilovers etc
Plans have changed to just make a good fun Track Car