Working Nights in run up to marathon

I am running my first marathon this year in London on 22nd April. My training has been going ok but I am a nurse and two weeks before the race, I am doing a week of nights. This throws my body clock out and I struggle to get in the training. Does anyone have any advice on how I can maximise my training during this time. Also does anyone know how I can get my body clock back onto days in the final week without feeling too tired. Thanks image


  • Hi Hilary,

    No advice I'm afraid but just to let you know I'm pretty similar! I work in the labs in a hospital and do 20 hr nights with a day off recovery the next day then back in the day after at 9 am do approx 1 a week but sometimes can be two - I have four in April pre- 22nd. Although it doesn't seem many - the sleep lost in that 1 shift per week is never got back so I too struggle! My last one before the marathon is the Tuesday so I've booked the Thursday and Friday as annual leave so will hopefully catch up by then. Have you found it a struggle fitting training in around your nights?

  • Hi Bex

     Thanks for your reply. I agree I don`t think there is a way of getting that sleep back. I have got the week off from the Monday so my plan is to get back into the day routine and fit a small amount of training in to keep loose. I find it really difficult training whilst working nights but I think I will just have to plan it in and stick to it. I'll probably go before work because I'm always way too tired after work. What do you do?


  • Hi Hilary.... Sometimes I just don't think about it, put on my trainers and do a run before I go to bed ...knowing that although it'll be hard, I'll sleep like a baby! It's overcoming it mentally for me because once I'm out there, Im ok. I've managed to stick to my training plan more or less I've only missed a couple of short runs but I've fit in all my long runs and I'm up to 18 miles,. Got a 15 to do today then 20 next week before taper.

    Good luck in training

  • Ive worked permanent nights for 20 years so slightly different to shift work
    Run before work, do as much training as you can but ease off at the end of the week, sleep as much as you can one week of less training that close to a marathon wont ruin all the months you have put in in fact the extra rest may help
    Dont fall into the trap of not taking your taper seriously. You've done the hard work let your body recover
  • On the day of the first night I do a long run or something demanding, on other days maybe a quick half hour on the bike, nothing too arduous.

    I pay attention to my immune system too as it doesn't love nights, and yes definitely taper well in the rest week.

    I'm taking leave from the Weds before.
  • Thanks for your comments. Its good advice. I'm tempted to overdo it but I think you're right that I should rest more. I think I'll take your advice and do a long run on the day of the first night and then do some gentle cross training and short runs during the week.

     I hope all your training is going well. Good luck on the day! image

Sign In or Register to comment.