Failing Anaerobic Over Unders

In my Advanced Gravel Plan, I’m prescribed 3x5 anaerobic over unders. This is the 200% for 30 seconds, 4 minutes of 115%, then 200% for 30 seconds, 5 mins recovery, repeated thrice.

I manage the first 30-second kick well enough even though it’s a weird throttled “half of all-out” effort. I then get most of the way through the first 115% bit before my body starts transitioning from “ok, hold this power” to “everything you’ve got to maintain this power.” Because of this, the 200% kick to finish the interval off is an out-of-the-saddle audibly-gasping half sprint. After the recovery, I barely make it through the next 30-second kick and immediately fall to pieces about 45 seconds into the 115% bit. I pull the rip cord, gather myself in recovery watts, and finish the rest of my ride in Z2 with some sweet spot efforts to flush the detritus.

My anaerobic capacity is fairly decent, but these are asking so much from me that I can’t even get halfway through the workout. It’s totally discouraging and I feel like fitness is being left on the table by not completing a prescribed workout.

My two questions:

Is it typical of riders to fail these more often than not?


What can I do about this?

We’d have to get into your power data to analyze your execution but usually because these are just plain hard!

Also, it could your FTP is set to high… Recovery not good enough… Nutrition dialed??

Try again!


@dennyrowe_iii I can say you are not alone on this workout, it’s tough! The 200% part at the end is wicked and it kicks my a$$ as well. I have done it a few times now and each time I get a bit better so that is something to look forward to. Keep going!!!



The good news is that the body adapts to anaerobic work quickly, so keep trying! Another name for this interval is the “race winner” so it’s worth the effort!