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Any Smokers "Not Ex" - that can run?


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I now I shouldn't so please don't respond with all the "for your health" and "the sake of my children" I am trying trying trying to quit.......I come from a long line of smokers and it crosses all economic and education lines in the family -everyone except the high school drop out smokes - Go Figure - even my freakishly intelligent, PHD holding, workout monger sister smokes.     I smoke over two packs a day and I work out.  I can walk at an incline and do the ellipticle for over an hour at a time - and yes, vigorously.   I want to start running.   Any smokers actually run?  The stop smoking success will be another site.
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My best friend smokes about a pack a day...and also runs two times daily...averaging about 10 miles per day.

Of course me, being a non-smoker, can't understand how she could run 5 miles and then light up.  But she doesn't seem to have much of an issue with it now.

I am not going to lecture you, but good luck with both running and quitting!
I don't, but I can offer this advice.

*Everyone*, regardless of fitness level or lung capacity, struggles when they first start running.  So just embrace the fact that it will not be a cakewalk, but it is most definitely doable.  I have asthma and my VO2 Max is pretty sad, but I can still get out there and go for miles.  It was hard in the beginning, and running is never really easy.  But it is incredibly fun and worthwhile.  :) 

So if it's hard, just know it is for everyone, and don't use the smoking as an excuse to quit.  Use it as a reason to try even harder, to prove anyone who thinks smokers can't run wrong!
I'm a smoker (1 pack/day, so I fit one of your qualifications.. However I don't run (it's a b**** to put on three bras that suffocate me in order to go running...long story)

But, I've noticed with taking my bike to work, for example...  The first day I literally thought I was going to keel over of a heart attack at age 22!!  Especially when I got to the huge hill (well, not that huge, but painful). 

However, the second day I took my bike I noticed it was a lot easier, and the third time was, and so on. 

I'm sure you'll be able to do it.. Just take it slowly, and don't get discouraged if you have to stop and walk every few blocks.  You've been working out so you'll have that under your belt.  Try it out, take it step by step, and see what happens.
I smoke about 1/3-1/2 pack a day (I'm trying to cut back, because weekends I can polish off a pack in a night) and I run.  I was in track in Junior High and the first 2 yrs of highschool, so I've always been a big fan of running. 

I usually run 2.5-4 miles, 3-4 times a week.  I'm trying to run more often now, though.  It's hard at first (always is) but running is such a great thing for you to do!  Not only does it help improve your lungs that have been damaged from smoking, but everything!  Seriously, you CAN run and be a smoker for sure.  I've done it for the last ... oh ... 5-6 months.  And I'm getting better and better and loving it more and more.

Also, since you're wanting to quit smoking sometime as well... running has been motivation for me to cut back, because I do cough sometimes when I'm running, I get that itchy throat, etc... I think if you take up running (start slow, work your way up) it will be easier to quit smoking as well... hopefully!

It's not impossible at alll ... it actually isn't any harder if you ask me.  DO IT, I DARE YOU!  Hehe :)


Good luck!
Thank you all for responding with support and other smokers stories.  I am going to go ahead with the "Couch to 5k" plan.  I thank you triple for not making me feel even worse about smoking. 
I actually smoke about 2-4 a day. I run perfectly fine whithout losing breath considering my weight and others' non-smoking running experiences. Maybe it's just me lol.
I don't smoke now but I used to, a pack a day or so, but one of the things that helped me to quit was starting running. Yeah you can smoke and run but I got pretty into the running thing and that was the nail in the coffin for smoking, I knew it would be easier without smoking and I'd perform better.

I did Couch to 5K and once I got into week five or so I didn't want to smoke because of the long runs coming up. I could tell while I was doing it that my lungs and heart were having more trouble improving than my leg muscles. Quitting smoking fixed that, I did smoke some in the other weeks though. Good luck!
I smoke and do an intense hike in the morning.  It does make me pant though.  I want to try to quit when I get close to my goal.  I have a friend who smokes when she hikes!!!  It blows me away, I have no urge to smoke and workout at the same time!
Ahh noo way Im a smoker and I can not run.  I can also do the ellipitical and walk on an incline at a ery very brisk walk..but the second I get running my chest caves.  Since I started working out I have been trying to quit..but yes I feel your pain I cant do it heh 
I used to smoke over 1 pack per day and quit almost a year ago.  I am running now and can't imagine being able to do it and smoke.  Actually, before I quit, I never imagined I'd be smoke free.  You can do it - try the American Lung Association's on-line course.  It really helped me.  If I can do it, anybody can.  Good luck!
I'm in the process of quiting smoking (down to about a pack a week) and recently started the couch to 5k--I'm half way through week 2, and so far so good.  I've found it has helped decrease my cravings, and it seems to speed up the good benefits of cutting back (not only am I getting the breathing benefits of smoking less, but also the breathing benefits of getting in better cardiovascular shape) so its definitely doable.  Just be prepared to cough up a lot of junk, particularly during your first week.  I was fine running, but about a half hour afterward my lungs would kick into house cleaning mode.
Great feedback!  I am looking forward to this so much!
i know quite a few smokers who are runners--even distance runners.  So just go for it-- and like a lot of people, it may just help you quit.
i smoke 3-4 a day (more at weekends though) and ive been running for 2 months. i can do 2 miles and am going to start increasing it now.

my non-smoking friends are all surprised but i dont think it affects me that much. my legs give out before my lungs!
Lost 60 pounds and made it up to three miles/day running before quitting.  That was 7-weeks ago and I am now comfortably doing 7 to 9 miles/day with alternate days of HIIT.  Before quitting I thought it would make little or no difference!
i smoke about 3 packs a week. (yes a week lol please don't think thats daily) and while my running isn't great, mostly because im not that hard core about it, i am able to go for about a half an hour at 4-5mph depending on my jog. so, its doable. harder but doable.
I smoke a pack a day (menthol cigs), I have been a smoker for 10 yrs now and I run, hike, swim, walk long distances even in the heat, I also love rollerblading and lifting weights. A smoker that works out constantly always knows when to light up so that the workout is not affected. For example when it is hot like 30 -35 centigrade I do not smoke before exercising (around 30 minutes before) because probably humidity + heat + smoke put an additional strain on the respiratory system and my chest feels heavy. However when it's cool or even cold outside it makes no difference whether I smoke or not before working out.

I am not saying that smoking is a good thing, but it also helps control some cravings.
#18  
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I'm a smoker.  I smoke about 15 a day.  I run 1 mile Mon through Fri every night.  Sat and Sun I do two miles in the mourning and two miles every night.  I've been running for 4 months now.  My sister started out running with me and she is also a smoker but she can't do a mile.  She doesn't push her limits though.  The hardest was the first few weeks.  My bosses kid always gives me crap for smoking and I told him I could run a mile quicker than him and he didn't believe me.  We went to a high school track and he lost.  He doesn't get it.  Friends I go running with don't get it either.  Just expand those lungs and you'll be fine.  It will hurt really bad at first.  I light up about 5 minutes after my runs.  It's not the healthiest but hey I enjoy it.  Hopefully I'll be ready to quit one day.  I think if I actually quit I can shave about 1.5 minutes off of my quickest mile right now. I'm at 7.5 mins if I go out and time myself tonnight.   Just start running and in a month you won't regret starting.  Even if you don't quit smoking.  In fact you'll get depressed if you miss a day.  Good Luck

This is what I think,

Two people, exactly the same, inside and out. Except one smokes, and the other one doesn't.

Short answer: Both person's abilities, and capabilities will be exactly the same.

Long answer: Since our body is our engine, by keeping it clean, we may get more mileage. So yes, the bodies of both person can perform as well as each other, but the clean lungs will out last the dirty lungs in the long run (and there are no spare parts, except from donations or ??black market??).

Also: The non-smoker will not have to deal with any cravings (except for their hunger), which may interrupt their training session. That's where the limit lies for a smoker, or for anyone with an addiction to anything. Try doing a run (or any major task) during a craving (or if you've run out of the substance), and you'll know what I mean.

If nothing thing else, it's just like carrying extra baggage.
t_k
Oct 31 2007 10:46
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#20  
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I have stopped both smoking and running, but yes...I used to do both.

In fact, I used to run half-marathons as a pack to pack-and-a-half a day smoker and heavy drinker.

Thankfully, none of those are applicable descriptions to me anymore, but I used to run right after a smoke and light up as soon as I was done.

 

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