Night shift compensation

My shift pattern has 5 nights every 3 weeks. During this week it’s hard to complete/start the prescribed workout so I’ve been pushing the week so I’m not shattered and they can be done to the best of my abilities.

This does, however, mean I have weeks with nothing scheduled which doesn’t:

  • Look good training wise
  • Motivate me to do something in the downtime

I’m trying to work out what to put in even if I change it, I was thinking of using the previous week’s and next week’s sessions but in abbreviated versions (if I’m wasted and full size if I’m fresh at the beginning of the week) or just picking something that catches my eye on the day?

I’m erring towards scheduling 30 mins sessions 2 times in the week and adjusting as required. I know this isn’t best for progression but I hope it means I won’t regress during the nights.

This podcast episode discusses night shifts:

Perfect, cheers @Papuass!

Something to listen to on today’s evening shift.

There is even link to specific section.

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Pretty sure Nate’s recommendation was “change job!” :joy:

I’m wondering if the “master’s” training plans @mcneese.chad has created could be of use to you - I think he’s scheduled a recovery week every 3rd or 4th week? Maybe just in line with you shift patern. But then again your plan of doing a week of shortened workouts sounds good to me too.

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I have settled on a 4:1, 3:1, 3:1 timing for the complete Sweet Spot Base 1 & 2 phase. It’s based on an original idea from Nate, and I just swapped the week order to what made more sense for my progression.

I’m a nurse and have some night shifts as well, though luckily not as many as you do. I work 12 hours shifts and have gotten creative with my training. what does your typical night shift schedule look like for the week? is it 8hr shifts or extended shift? any days off? Are you day shift on the off weeks? Just curious to see if my strategies can help you as well.

We’ve been discussing polarized training in some other Training topics. One thing that polarized training has taught me is that Z2 (5 zone model) is the bread and butter any training year.

Out of a year you have 365 training opportunities. In a polarized model 50 to 100 of those may include intensity and 200 to 300 will be at easy Z2.

My point is that when life throws you a curve ball (got a cold, have to work nights, broke collarbone, tough day at work, sick kid at home, whatever), just jump on the trainer or go outside and gather up some time in Z2. This will keep your aerobic capacity in condition. You can always do more intervals later.

Missing 50 days of aerobic training per year will seriously put a dent in your fitness. You can always catch up with intervals and sharpen at various higher intensities. You can sharpen higher intensities in a month with intervals. You can’t catch up if you keep missing out on your aerobic conditioning. Consistency and frequency are super important.

I know TR partly caters to some riders who can only be on a bike for 3X per week. My guess is that most people could jump on a trainer for an hour and watch Netflix there instead of watching Netflix on the couch.

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It’s a repeating sets of:

  • 5 X 06:00 to 14:00, 3 off
  • 5 x 14:00 to 22:00 3 off
  • 5 X 22:00 to 06:00. Then 4 off.

Have you tried working out prior to your shift. The way that schedule reads on the 3 off days before 2200-0600 you could do some late workouts which may help adapt to doing them once’s you’re on nights.
Not sure how you do on caffeine but the nice thing about pre shift exercise is you can have more coffee

Oh thats rough… switching back and for like that would kill me. The only thing I’ve had work for me so far is to either take that first day after the nights shifts easy or off completely. I usually end up sleeping for like 4 hours and then getting back up, but I’m useless for most of that day. like @Nedward mentioned I’ve had good luck working out before I go in for a night shift, it actually wakes me up for the shift. mine are usually 2000-0800 but I’m otherwise 1200-0000 so its not too much of a switch for me. I’m lucky though in that we don’t have kids (yet :flushed:) so I don’t have responsibilities or anyone else to take care of. I follow low volume plans with extra outside hard rides when the weather here is nice.

I try to HTFU during my periods of nightshift at work.
I work either 16 weeks of 2-shift (mornings or evenings) or 8 weeks of nightshift (5 nights/week).
Its fucking hard to train during this period. Only base phase Low Volume (triathlon) training works!
But that is how my life is and I try to adapt :grimacing::joy::see_no_evil:

Thanks for the advice everyone, yes it is a bit tough at times but they’re paying for certs, training and it’s otherwise nice so I’ll just get a dose of rule 5 and adjust plans accordingly.

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