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Training & shiftwork

Old 09-03-06, 01:38 PM
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Training & shiftwork

Do any of you racers do shiftwork?

I've been on 4 12-hour shifts on, 4 off for the past 6 years, but I just got in cycling in June. I feel like I'd like to try to take it to the next level(cat 5 racing), but trying to train around a 4 on/4 off schedule seems tough. Especially because the 4 on days would have to be pretty much all recovery days. I bike-commute to work at 5AM in the morning, and don't get back until after 7:45PM, and I'm pretty much pooped for the day and it's only 8 miles round trip.

To just add to the complexity, I work night shifts every other 4-day shift, so it swaps 4 days, 4 off, 4 nights, 4 off, 4 days, etc etc. The strange thing is that I've done some of my best riding the day after my last night shift w/o any sleep, but it puts a hurting on my sleep habits. I'm trying to switch it up so that I have 4 days, 4 off, 4 days, 4 off, 4 nights, 4 off, 4 nights, 4 off, 4 days, etc.

Anyone have any experiences or suggestions? Thanks


ps. So far I've done about 3 straight months of basework, a couple centuries and as many evening rides as I can get in. I've tried to average at least 100 miles per week and I've recently thrown in some seriously climbing(my worst "skill").

Last edited by branman1986; 09-03-06 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 09-03-06, 10:47 PM
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You can race on that schedule.

My schedule:
M/W/F: bike to work 5 miles each way, ~800 ft elevation gain round trip
Tu/(and sometimes thu) drive to work and carpool to local velodrome for interval session
Sat: race, or if no race, long ride
Sun: long ride or recovery ride if I'm really thrashed. I need less of a recovery now (late in the season) than I did in may.

I race as a Cat 2 trackie, and do reasonably well locally and at masters nats on that. You can race on 4 days a week plus commuting and do well as a 5, and figure out what works for you as you move up.

You probably want to do your hardest day the day before your work schedule starts, so the commute to/from work (zone 2/light tempo) would be your recovery ride. Don't discount the value of that ride, even if it's short-- do it as an easy spin. With some practice you can ride intervals thursday and race well on saturday. You can also look into midweek races and things (and check your local track, too) for when your off days aren't on a weekend.

You might try something like this for your 4 off days:
1: intervals
2: recovery/moderate distance at light tempo
3: race
4: loooong low intensity ride or more intervals

You can also double up and do some two-workout days, especially on a race day if you're doing a 30 minute crit or 20 mile RR (cat 5 races can be short). Then you can do another 1.5-2 hr ride or some intervals later. I've even done stuff like a long easy group ride in the morning then track racing in the evening.
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