Replace under/over workouts?

So I’m doing the SSB1 plan and I just cannot finish the under/over workouts (reinstein etc). I get part way through the second rep and I’m toast. Is this normal? My FTP was recently tested using a ramp test and it went up from 318 to 342. So my question is do I reduce the intensity to say 95% for those workouts or do I replace the workout with something else? If I replace it does anyone have any suggestions? I can finish all the other ones during the week. I’ve even tried skipping the midweek tempo ride to get extra recovery and it is still the same.

Why you could not finish them? HR to max, cannot turn the pedals, pain in legs? O/U are hard but not being able to finish them is for me an indication that you are working during unders too close or over FTP (ramp test?). Try lowering them a couple of % and see how they feel. Do not replace them because they are very important in building lactate tolerance (physical and psychological).


From memory with the O/U workouts your legs should “light up” during the overs then the feeling should fade during the first half of the unders so that when the next over comes along you are ready.

If you aren’t recovering during the unders then it’s likely that either you’ve tested quite high or that your body hasn’t become accustomed to the increase in intensity.

For me Over-Unders are a bell-weather workout: if I’m not burning during the overs then my FTP is too low, if I can’t recover during the unders then it’s too high.


That’s a big jump in FTP. I’ve had a similar issue where my FTP went up quite a bit (18 watts) and I then couldn’t finish sustained power sets (8-9 min sets at or around FTP) that I was managing to complete before. In hindsight I think it was a mistake to push my FTP up by such a degree. I don’t know if it was a case of the ramp test being off or not, but based on my experience, I’d recommend dropping your FTP to a level where you think you could complete the o/u sets. Were you doing o/u sets when your FTP was at 318? If so, this should give you an indication at what kind of level you should ride at (whether that be 318 or something a bit higher).

I’m assuming you’re in SSB1MV based on your reference to Reinstein

My guess is that you’ve over-assessed on your recent FPT test. The only workouts that should be challenging to complete in the first 3-4 weeks of SSB1MV are the scheduled Saturday over/under workouts. Everything else in the first half of that plan is sweet spot or below and, even with an over-assessed FTP, shouldn’t be too challenging to complete.

Dialing down the intensity on the over/unders will help - but you should also be realistic with how you’re performing on the rest of the workouts. Are you pretty worn out at the end of something like Carson or Monitor -4? These should be tiring but not pushing you to the edge

I did traditional low base 1 first. The jump is probably just getting fitness back rather than the plan and I haven’t done over unders for a long time so I can’t say if I could do them at 318. Last year my FTP was 348.

I think you’re all probably right about over achieving however I don’t feel like I went to exhaustion on the ramp test. I probably could be done an extra 30s-45s with some more grit.

I did carter the other day and felt reasonably tired after 45min!

I’ll try dialing back my FTP and giving it another go.

Carter should be easy like real easy. It’s lower endurance work with only 9 minutes at the high end of endurance zone. You shouldn’t be tired after Carter. If i’m not mistaken you are at the first or second week of SSB1. If you feel this way now your FTP looks too high also Reinstein while challenging is not supposed to be that hard with 2 minutes valleys and ample recovery. It could be two things…

You overtested on the ramp test with a high anaerobic contibution.
A calibration issue. Did you calibrate on the TR app before your test or right after warm up. Or did you change anything on your setup?

I use a neo. I didn’t think it needed calibrating?

In terms of retesting, do you suggest a 20min test would give a more accurate result than a ramp test for me?

I wouldn’t overthink it. Try to get them done. If need be decrease intensity ever so slightly. After all you really want to do that stuff. It’s super beneficial.

Also, you don’t need to calibrate/zero the Neo.

Im the same. Tried to do Palisade yesterday, and legs ground to a halt on #2. Did Beech instead. Yet I managed Juneau-1 fine today. Something I thought about doing is lowering my FTP a little just for the over/unders, (I dont know how to reduce the intensity any other way? is there one?)
But temporarily because I think over time we will improve our muscular endurance to cope with these little bastards!
Funnily enough, when I did the 20 minute FTP test It was 17 watts lower than my recently tested(February ) Ramp test. I am not changing my existing FTP but it did make me aware of where my weaknesses are. Seeing as you have made such good progress, I cant see a problem for you to lower to 95% just for this type. Not being able to complete a workout can be a bit demoralising, and at the end of the day, we DO need to do these over/unders to get faster!