Training while on shift work

Hello to those on shift work. How do you structure your days? I work a 24 hour on 72 hour off schedule. As such, I have to alter the plan builder. I currently have it set to a high tss day on my first day off. My work day is my rest day. In reality, my work day is certainly not a rest day. At best I will have 3-4 hours of anxious sleep that night. I’m thinking of changing it to a low tss on my first day followed by a high and the medium. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Can you change your job if it’s causing you anxious sleep? That’s not something to be ignored my friend.

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He can’t… unless he quits. Working as a First Responder creates it’s own physiological stress.

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Good morning, Brother!

I’m a newly appointed BC with my department, and understand whole-heartedly where you are coming from. I’m 26 years in the business (PM, Lt, now BC) and have hopefully found my own strategies to continue training with our schedule. We work a Detroit-56 (modified), which is 1 on, 1 off, 1 on, 1 off, 1 on, 4 off. It’s also worth noting that I’m on the eve of my 50th birthday.

I make every effort to commute by bike to work year round (in the PNW). My commute is 9 miles (one-way). I am on the low-volume plan, eat a whole food diet (LOTS of food allergies), and finally covet sleep as a key to my health. I could drink a little less beer… I do not generally do a TR session between shifts, but try and do them on my 4-day. That said, I do not do three back-to-back days on the trainer. I generally get two TR sessions in and let my commuting substitute the other TSS.

So far this has worked pretty well. I have no guilt if I miss a day due to lack of sleep or other stressors; our bodies can only do what they can do! In addition to commuting I race cyclocross, and did pretty well in the 2019-2020 season.

Thanks for the response and congrats on your promotion Chief! I’ve got 8 years in and work in a busy East Coast dept. I like the mindset of not feeling guilty for missing a workout every now and again. I too, could probably drink less beer. I’ve reached 3.9w/kg and I’m trying TR to see how much higher I can get. I may have to alter my calendar for days on the medic unit vs the wagon. Cheers

Thank you! I’m at about the same watts/kg…

Incidentally I started as a medic in Jersey, then worked for Howard County, MD before jumping coasts in 1997.

Take care!