Are over-under workouts suppose to be this hard?

I was cramping pretty badly in my abdomen during the last section of tunemah.

Had to close my eyes and let the power fall where it may, that’s how bad I was feeling.

Anyways, I finished at 100% TSS. I didn’t fail, but I’m worried how will I be able to complete McAdie +1.

Could my FTP be too high? heart rate was 98% of max. Very uncomfortable.


Are over-under workouts suppose to be this hard?

I know, right!!! :tired_face:

(maybe we’re just weak… :persevere: )

Evaluate your cooling and hydration. These two factors will be pivotal during particularly tough sessions.

Analysis of HR is always going to be subjective, given you have a 10 minute recovery interval prior to the last O/U block practically maxing out your HR (almost) does raise an eyebrow. Fatigue will be increasing throughout the workout mind you but as above, if you’re not cooling or hydrating well then it’s a slippery slope of catch-22 unpleasantness.

Presumably you aren’t questioning your FTP for your other workouts? Sweetspot/VO2 etc?


Over/unders should be very hard - by the last interval you should be at or beyond the point of failure. It is very common for riders to dial down the intensity on over/unders or fail to finish those workouts


TT ace Alex Dowsett (Katusha) says he rarely finishes his 2x20 (2min per) over-under sessions.


Over Unders are painful. I started back on SSB Mid Vol 1 this week and finished Reinstein earlier today. Wanted to vomit at the end of last interval. From memory (did SSB Mid Vol 1 & 2 from Jan - Mar 18), they don’t get any easier but your ability to shut out the pain increases. I find caffeine helps no end. I use the SIS electrolyte tablets with caffeine keep me fired up and hydrated, this usually does the trick for me, but does mean I need to do them early in the day :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:. Still, if it’s your job to eat a frog once a day, it’s always best to do it first thing in the morning and get it out of the way. If it’s your job to eat two frogs a day, always eat the biggest one first…:+1:


Yes. Over unders hurt. They make you strong though.


I’ve been posting today about McAdie +1.

I’m dojng mid vol SSB 1 and had this workout today. I’ve been nervous doing all the O/U workouts and in each I didn’t think I’d finish at 100%. Somehow I have though but it did require huge amounts of mental energy.

HR wise - my aveage was about 137 (72%) of max and my peak, in last interval was 168 (88% of max). I did genuinely feel goosed.

Previous points about heat and hydration, nutrition all valuable. How have your other O/U sessions been? Have they all been the same in terms of effort and HR?

Is that a TR workout? I kind of want to try just one round

I wonder what %s he’s over and under; 90/110? 90/120?

Not a TR workout, just a standard O/U protocol – 2x20min, 95/105%, 2min@each.

Last season, before I knew what the heck I was doing, I thought that session was what you were supposed to do…so I kept trying to do it. ‘Trying’ being the key word.


I’ve put it on the schedule for next week with a backup workout planned and a box of tissues ready :slight_smile:

Over/Under’s are my Achilles heal…I hate them.


We need to start a support group.


Think a major thing for them is to get your breathing right. If i started to mess up my breathing, taking short gasps I’d get a stitch in no time.

I found personally that you’ll get to a level of pain that doesn’t get any worse, it’s just about you working through it and not cracking. If you train your mind to deal with the pain and shut it out, you’ll find yourself able to sustain that level of discomfort for longer and it won’t feel as bad the more you do it :slight_smile:

Over unders are probably on par Vo2 max stuff, probably worse actually as you gas yourself in the overs and only just manage to clear the legs in the unders. Surprising how easy the unders feel though in comparison to the overs haha


I’m the other way round. I dread the drop down to the under. The overs feel hard and you know you have to get through it and focus on that. The under gets ‘just’ easy enough to be able to use your brain again, and thats where the doubt starts to creep in…


Yep, I hate hate hate overs n understand!!
I’ve not done any since the early summer!

Same, but the increase in power for the overs isn’t a problem, but the drop to under is ghastly – so painful when the muscles have to deal with the flood of lactic acid. This is why I’m questioning my natural lactate threshold (and VO2).

If by “on par” you mean “exponentially worse”, then yes, I agree.

Well played!! I’d be perfectly fine doing unders only. :rofl:


It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, over / under’s are bloody hard!

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This is very interesting to me. I wonder if it is mental. You’re setting yourself up for the under as your ‘recovery’ but it isn’t as easy as you expect.

The drop to the under shouldn’t feel great, by any stretch of the imagination, but after 30-45 seconds down there you should be clearing a bit and maybe seeing your HR drop 1-2 BPM.

Just an interesting phenomenon - I wonder how you’d feel about it if you hit the screen so you couldn’t count the seconds left in each over and each under


“It doesn’t get easier, you just get royally bent out of shape” :sweat_smile: