Couch to 5K

Shift work and progress

I just completed W6 R2 (YAY!) after my third 12 hour night shift and only 3 hours sleep. I’ve been itching to get out to attempt this run since Wednesday but my shift pattern (or lack there of) holds me back.

I tend to work nights every other week (usually three in a row) but don’t have an official shift pattern so could be working 2 days then one off then one in then nights... its pretty much whatever I’m given. My day shifts are 13 hours so I don’t run on work days anyway, but if I’m working nights I usually go a good 4 days between runs because I worry that a run will affect my already lacking sleep and I refuse to go before work.

So my question is... does anyone find that their shift patterns affect their running? By that I mean either how often you can go or the quality of your run. I know it doesn’t have to be religiously every other day but I’m feeling so good right now that I’d love to be able to do that!

3 Replies

Hi. I can often only get out twice weekly because of shift patterns too. On the bright side, it makes me REALLY look forward to my runs😬

Hoping to get out more as on leave now. 🏃🏃🏃

Liz X

1 like

I haven't been able to follow the every other day run pattern at all: I sometimes have 1 day in between runs, but most usually have 2 days and sometimes 3/4 if I can't do otherwise. I even had a 2-week break because I was ill. It has never affected my running, on the contrary. So I would say don't worry about it and try to get your three runs within 7 or 8 days (but if you can't, you'll be fine as well ;-).

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My on call schedule and weekends working definitely impact my running schedule. I've had to forego a few runs after being on call and up all night and cannot run on a weekend I work. As much as I would love to consistently run 3 times per week, it just doesn't happen some weeks and that's ok. I enjoy the runs I can do and always try to at least get 2 runs in. It'll be 5 days from my last run before I get another run in because of work 🤷‍♀️

Just do the best you can do. If you've had a night of poor sleep or days of poor nutrition (or water intake), don't get down on yourself if the run isn't stellar. But if you're up for a short run, go for it. It's ok to adjust your runs as needed.


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