Over/Unders......... under before the over?

Not including the rising (pyramid style) over/under workouts, does anyone know why TR’s O/U workouts have the ‘under’ first before the over?

Kind of makes the last ‘over’ on each set not as effective, seeing as you don’t need to flush out lactate under load as you go straight into the recovery interval.

Is there a reason or some science for this?

They explain here The Science Behind Over-Under Intervals – Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast 189 - YouTube so it doesn’t really matter since you’ve already done plenty of overs followed by unders. Ending on a over is not a big deal, trust me you want them to end at some point lol.


I don’t know for sure, but I thought it was to make them a bit more bearable to achieve. I like getting used to the effort by having the under first, tho’ pre TR, I did my O/Us on the road and did the O first.
As for the last O not being as effective, I don’t know if that is so. You need to ask Chad!


True, I just thought finishing on an under would have been more beneficial. Chad wasn’t that convincing when detailing why…

No reason why you couldn’t start and finish with an under I guess. Just found it strange how nearly of the workouts are structured that way.

Happy to accept it for what it is though, just wondered why.

Why not starting wint the under and finish with the under?

I do:

I don’t know if there’s any science to it but I like to finish on an over and that one last effort :wink:

agree; def want the over first. Create an excess of lactate then be forced to clear it; a huge reason to do these. good catch!


So I was listening to that episode and was curious as well. The over/under (over first) workout to me would be harder as you have to finish out with an under before getting rest. The corollary would be that the under first version you have to do a near threshold interval first before hitting the over, so you’re bringing in some fatigue to the over.

I created two custom workouts to see if AI would give them a different level but they’re the same.

(and no, I’m not trying to do some Wahoo drop the vowel thing with naming, Workout Creator has a bug where I can’t use the letter E or D or the app freaks out. Maybe TR is getting bough out by Wahoo😮 lol)

Then I was watching an Xert video and they disagree with TR’s thoughts on this. Start at 8:48.

They bring fatigue into account and would classify a over first over/under as a harder workout. The reasoning being that with an under/over, you start under threshold, which doesn’t affect their MPA number. With the over first, you deplete MPA, then have to do the under fatigued at a lower MPA starting point. I’m wondering if WKO5 would classify the workouts as different but I’m not familiar enough with that program to test it out.

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It’s sounds like a debate on wether it’s worse to get slapped in the face then kicked in the junk, or get kicked in the junk then slapped in the face. In the end it’s all unpleasant and will have the same result.

I’d imagine your personal strengths/weaknesses will determine which is more tolerable, but the fitness differences if any are negligible.


My thoughts exactly. I would imagine that if you’ve been doing a lot of SS and threshold work, that first under section may not feel that bad, and you get an interval that feels as if it’s over/under/over/under/over or whatever. But I say feels easier but the actual adaptation may not be different at all.

Can’t say it any better than this.

In this particular case, you are correct. The first effort isn’t very taxing. However, if the first effort is longer and draws down MPA more (imagine going to exhaustion as the limit), anything following will be awful and the strain associated much, much higher. The concept is pretty intuitive. In fact, there would be no real reason to do consecutive intervals if it weren’t for the fact that they build fatigue and the ones that follow provide more training stimulus. It’s how it has to work.

Thanks for referencing our video.