Marathon training

I'm planning on running my first marathon next year and have been looking at the various training schedules available.

The problem I have is that I'm a shiftworker, I work 12 hour shifts (days and nights) and work a lot of weekends too.

Most of the training plans I've seen are pretty inflexible, if anyone could offer any advice from their own experiences on how to adapt these plans to fit in around very unsociable work hours it would be much appreciated.



  • One advantage of working shifts could be that you'll get to be able to do a fair proportion of runs in daylight and also therefore off road. Work out your own plan trying to incorporate as much daylight as possible. You don't need to stick rigidly to a set plan but you must put in the miles and remember that the long run is the most important session. While 'pacey' sessions are useful, miles are crucial. If shifts allow, get to one or two long distance races ie 20 milers, though these tend to come in the months leading up to London.
    Good Luck
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  • Many thanks for the advice.

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    Wash my mouth with soap and water, but there was a letter in Running Fitness a few months ago about a chap who works a 10 day week : 2*12hr days (6am-6pm) , 2*12hr nights (6pm-6am) then six days off.
    (Sounds good to me personally!)

    There was a longish reply but the gist was you change a 7 day training plan to suit a 10 day work pattern.
    Key points made were:
    Train harder on days off
    In this case rest 1 of the 6 off days
    Fit in hard sessions on days off : intervals,tempos
    Do the other sessions on free days left: long easy runs,steady mid length runs.
    Also on the 4 work days,try and run twice even if its a 15 minute freshen up.
    (sometimes when I'm limited in time I do a 2 mile run flat out,changed,back and showered in less than 30 mins)

    Having never worked shifts,although my old boss thought 7am to 9pm was normal, I hope this helps.
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