Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel

Oh-vur-uhn-duh Sesh-uhn

Noun, Noun

An over-under session is an interval workout used in duathlon training.

Example usage: 'Let's do an over-under session to practice our transitions.'

Most used in: Duathlon training circles, primarily in Europe.

Most used by: Duathletes and triathletes who are looking to improve their transition times.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 3/10

Also see: Interval Training, Intervals, Over-Unders, Pyramids,

What Is an Over-Under Session in Cycling?

An over-under session is a type of interval training used by cyclists to improve their performance. The session consists of alternating between shorter intervals of intense effort (the “over”) and longer intervals of lower-intensity effort (the “under”). It is designed to help cyclists push their physical and mental limits, as well as to increase their aerobic capacity and improve their endurance.

The goal of an over-under session is to improve a cyclist’s performance by increasing their anaerobic threshold. This is the point at which their body switches from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism. Anaerobic metabolism is the body’s ability to generate energy quickly by breaking down carbohydrates, and it is essential for high-intensity performance.

The length and intensity of the intervals will vary depending on the cyclist’s goals and fitness level. Generally, the “over” intervals should last between one and four minutes and should be performed at a challenging but manageable pace. The “under” intervals should be around twice as long as the “over” intervals and should be performed at a much lower intensity.

Studies have shown that over-under sessions are an effective way to improve cycling performance. In one study, cyclists who completed an eight-week over-under training program improved their anaerobic threshold by an average of 8%.

Overall, over-under sessions are an effective way for cyclists to improve their performance and push their physical and mental limits. With the right training program, cyclists can expect to see significant improvements in their anaerobic threshold and overall endurance.


The Origins of the Cycling Term 'Over-Under Session'

The cycling term 'Over-Under Session' was first used in the late 1990s in the United States. It was popularized by professional cyclists who used the term to describe a workout incorporating intervals of high-intensity and low-intensity cycling.

The workout involves cycling at a high intensity for a set amount of time, such as 30 seconds, followed by a period of low-intensity cycling. This pattern is repeated multiple times, with the high-intensity and low-intensity intervals alternating. The high-intensity intervals are referred to as 'over' and the low-intensity intervals are referred to as 'under'.

The term 'over-under session' was coined to describe this type of workout, which is now widely used by cyclists of all levels. It is a popular way to increase endurance and power, and can be adapted to suit different fitness goals.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3