Running + 12 hour shifts

Hi There

I am fairly new to the forum (although i do remember posting here a few months ago). But anyways i am starting a new job in about 3 weeks where i will be working 12 hour shifts (4 on 4 off - 6am to 6pm). This leaves me with a bit of dilemma as i have been used to a good weekly structure training wise (club sessions on tues and thurs, a tempo run on sat and a long run on sun) but once i start the job i will most likely have to change it.

I am a fairly competitve runner. I am 19 years old, i normally race 5-10ks, my PB in the 10K is 34:06 which i ran on Sunday at Bristol and have put together around 2-3 months of consistent 60+ mile weeks.

I have been giving it a lot of thought and i was thinking of doing an 8 day cycle where i spend the 4 days i work running easy mileage with 1 speed session and then use my 4 days off to get in some tempo runs/race pace intervals and a long run, but by doing that, this means i will more than likely have to train on my own which doesn't sound promising in my opinion. i enjoy running with my club as there are some top 10K runners there (around 31-33 minutes) who have helped me a lot over the last year or so.

Has anyone on the forum been in a similar position or are currently in the same boat? how would you organise your training while working shifts? ideally i would like to still train with my club without cramming so much quality into a few days.

Many Thanks


  • I do 6 on 4 off and have done the 4 on 4 off in the past but that was with 2 days and 2 nights which made it fairly easy to sort out a pattern with regards the running

    Make use of the club sessions when you can get to them, use the work days as easy sessions or in the summer perhaps bike in to work one day and run home the next or vice versa

    The 4 days off are excellent for getting your quality sessions in, it wont be easy but manageable as long as you are flexible

  • PoacherPoacher ✭✭✭

    Sensible advice from Meldy, working bizarre hours means being flexible and sometimes training when cream crackered.  Training with those faster types should be a priority if it works for you.  Can't say anything else coherent about 10k but there is an argument when training for longer distances that running when tired is actually a good thing. I often do shifts of 13hrs+, there are plenty of solo sessions one can do while the rest of the world is leading its "normal" life.  Good luck with the new job.

  • It can be done; I have worked long shifts for too many years, days and nights. Working nights and training are not a good combination. What works for me is running part of the way to work (but I have access to a shower at work) it is too far to run all the way (14 miles) but running up to 6 miles of my journey works a treat. I also cycle to work when I can, I actually feel better after the run than when I do not. But this is time efficient, saves me money and creates routine.  

    If this is not possible then you will need to be very self disciplined, no thinking, "I will see how I feel" make a plan and stick to it!  If you feel too tired just do a short run, but remember; sometimes you feel tired because you are lethargic and sometimes because you need to rest but knowing the difference?

    Maybe we should have a 'People who work s**t hours' blog to support ourselves?

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    4 days on/off sounds like a firemans shift.

    I'll comment if it isn't.

  • AgentGingerAgentGinger ✭✭✭

    There's a member of this forum called NightNurse, who frequents the P&D threads. As her name would suggest, she's a nurse who works nights. If you ping her perhaps she'll give you some tips too.

  • RicF wrote (see)

    4 days on/off sounds like a firemans shift.

    I'll comment if it isn't.

    They do 2 days, 2 nights then 3 (full) days off

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