Shift work and training

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Duckwah, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    Hey just wondering if anyone else here works shift work and if so what effect it has on your training.

    Also any ideas for dealing with trying to train on shift work.

    I'm asking because despite being a personal trainer i can't seem to get as fit as i would like due to working completely stuffed up hours (2x12hr days followed by 2x 12hr nights then 4 days off). I constantly feel tired and training before and after 12 hours of work is really hard

    any thoughts?
     
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  2. treebound

    treebound New Member

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    Does this rotate so that one week you'll work a Monday and the following week you'll skip the Monday? Or do you work something like a 12-hour Monday, then a 24-hour Tuesday, then a 12-hour Wednesday night and have Thursday-Sunday off?

    Regardless, if the days to nights transition isn't gapless then you should be able to fit in some training as you adjust your body's timeclock to the new time schedule. I used to work a job several decades ago where they could work you any shift as long as they gave you 8 hours between shifts, so I might work Mon-days, Tues-swing, Wed-grave, Thurs-swing, Fri-days, or the following week it might be Mon-Wed-days, Thurs-graveyard, Fri-swingshift. Really sucked as you couldn't plan anything for the week except on a day-by-day basis. After two years I quit that company and found a job with a more regular work schedule. But during that time I did bicycle a lot and basically snagged any time I felt like riding and went for a ride regardless of what time of day or night it was. The time of day would often determine what routes I took.

    Someone can probably provide you with a workable training schedule if you provide a more specific work schedule to build around. It can be done, but there will be comprimises.
     
  3. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    My shifts are an 8 day cycle so they rotate by a day each week but a typical week could be

    12 hrs day Friday
    12 hrs day Saturday
    12 hrs night Sunday
    12 hrs night Monday
    Tuesday off
    Wednesday off
    Thursday off
    Friday off
    12 hrs Saturday and so on

    shifts run 6am to 6pm and 6pm to 6am

    I try to train after my shifts but after getting up at 0500 to get to work and then 12 hrs on shift i never feel very good on the bike.

    I still ride a fair bit but i find it very hard to be consistent and one bad nights sleep can knock me around for a week!!!
     
  4. hlasnick

    hlasnick New Member

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    Man shift work stinks. Thats a tough schedule. I work nights as a cop, 4 ten hour days on three days off each week.

    It helps me if I keep my workout time the a same each day wheather I'm working or not. I try to ride at 3 p.m., I also eat the same thing each day an hour before riding. Give yourself as much routine as you can.

    It seems to help my body get ready to workout, if it knows whats coming.
     
  5. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    Yeah i'm pretty sick of it, i used to work worse hours in the Army but never for more than a few weeks at a time

    I think i've found the best solution, tell my boss where to cram his job and get a day job!!!
     
  6. Lasalles

    Lasalles New Member

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    Sorry but i say shift work rocks!!! Although i dont have the 12 hr or 10 hr days.If i start at say 3am i will be on my way home at around 11 with all arvo to train.The hard bit is if your feeling buggered from being up so early.
    Hey imagine being stuck behind a desk 9-5.That would make training hard...
     
  7. TTer

    TTer New Member

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    Duckwah, have you read "Performance Cycling" by Dave Morris? He has coached world champions at various disciplines and riders at the top-level in US domestic racing.

    He advocates something called 'block training' 2-3 days of focussed (sometimes very intense) training followed by an equal number (2-3) days of complete rest or easy riding. With such a programme you could structure your workouts so your 'rest' days are generally the days you work, with maybe you only having to train 1 or max 2 work days.

    The book also has the best write-up of exercise physiology for the layman that I have read!
     
  8. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    I haven't read it but i might track it down

    thanks for the tip
     
  9. Nick W

    Nick W New Member

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    I work a similar pattern, except that my day shift are 10 hours and the nights 14 (shift changes are 8am and 6pm).

    The best I can manage is to ride to work on the day shifts (25 mile round trip) - these are easy rides just to get some time on the bike - and put any real efforts into rides on the day of my first night shift, and the three full days I have off. Otherwise, I'm too tired to do it justice and don't enjoy it.

    This is working pretty well for me, as it allows me a potential of 4 days every 8 for real training with 2 further "easy" days (or 3 easy days if I ride on the day after my final night shift), but I'm new to cycling so I would probably improve no matter what I did (within reason). I have no idea how well it would work for any serious aspirations. I also don't know if cycle commuting is an option for you where you live/work (plus 12 hour days as opposed to my 10 hours would likely be more difficult too).
     
  10. FatRoadie

    FatRoadie New Member

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    The shift work thing has really hit me hard as well. Im working full time EMS here in New Orleans, Nights 3 on 2 off 2 on 3 off, only problem is that it seems like every time I get motivated for a long ride.....just before shift change they call me up to put in a double so now Im out prowling for 24 or even 36hrs sometimes and the 12hrs at home is spent sleeping, or just recovering my sanity before the next shift....

    LOL, Life was so much less complicated when I was a broke middle aged college student living on pasta, and riding as much as I could.........

    Bruce
     
  11. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    well its at least nice to know that everyone else on shift suffers with training!!

    It makes me feel less guilty for ditching sessions
     
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