Kinfd Advice needed!!

ex Smoker started running!!! Scary

1 to 20 of 43 messages
09/01/2003 at 13:01
Hi All,

I gave up smoking towards the end of November after a healthy ten year relationship with them!! Also started running about 10-15miles a week ever since.
I walk 3.5 miles every day to and from work. Therefore 7 miles in approx 90 mins. Not quick but not a leisurely stroll either. I have done this 5 days a week since April.
I really enjoy running and find that I feel great afterwards but my lungs are by no way at the same level as my muscles. I can run for about 10 minutes a go before my lungs feel like they are on fire. My muscles on the other hand could easily keep going.
Has anyone experienced this in the past and is there anything I can do about it? It is frustrating as I feel that I being hindered from progressing by this.

09/01/2003 at 13:18
Hi Lary,
I've smoked for nearly 14 years and have recently given up. At the moment I run 2.5 miles 3x a week and 1 run of 40 minutes. I never have had the problem that you describe and I've given up only a few weeks ago. I'd suggest to go see a doctor and have a lung test done. Hope it works out OK.
09/01/2003 at 13:29
Hi Lari,

If you're struggling for breath and your chest feels heavy you may have exercise related asthma. Get your peak flo measured at the doctor's. I am asthmatic and with my inhalers don't have any trouble with breathing. Now running is another matter.

PS I'm also an ex smoker.
09/01/2003 at 13:34
Cheers Guys.

Looks like better go and get checked out. Thanks for the advice.

Fingers crossed I'll find that it is nothing serious. Bit daunting.

Cheers again.
09/01/2003 at 13:46

As a GP and an ex-smoker (all of 3 weeks so far - the smoking, not the doctoring...), I agree with everyone above. Although most ex-smokers find their lung function takes a long time to return to normal (around 6 months on average), the usual complaint is "quitters cough", which isn't really what you're describing. But there's no denying that fags interfere with the normal mucus production in the airways, so when you stop, there's a bit of "catch-up" mucus production.

Do you get breathless at any other times? What about the walking? Night time? Early morning? Do you have a cough? Because without any of these, I'd be fairly reluctant to label someone as having asthma, and, in all honesty, would also be fairly reluctant to investigate further.
If it's just on running, I'd say keep going - you'll find the lung function will improve with time (as I said, about 6 months on average). And in answer to Slo'Boy, not everyone is as lucky as you... as for me - it's my first post-quit run this evening, so fingers crossed...
Suffolk Punch    pirate
09/01/2003 at 13:51
Hi lari,

I've been a light/social smoker for nearly twenty years and I've found there is an almost direct corrolation between exercise and the amount I crave. However, after periods of inactivity (usually job-related) it does take me time to get the fitness back. I'm going through the struggle at the moment aswell, but doing ok, I've also joined a local gym and starting to do a lot of cross-training.

The secret is, is to keep active, the walking is good stuff, but your lungs do need a work out. I've been seriously fit at times (used to do cycle racing and have run a half marathon) and I've suffered the same fire-like feeling as you. I don't know if it's a dangerous condition but it's doesn't seem to have done me any harm yet.

Good luck!
09/01/2003 at 13:53
Good luck Pitts

I gave up in October and have found that running has really given me the motivation to keep off the cigarettes. Knowing that all the hard work I've put in training could be undone by starting smoking again just stops me when I'm having a weaker moment(normally in the pub!)

So have fun on your first post-quit run. And even if it hurts think how much easier its going to get over the next few weeks.


09/01/2003 at 14:00
You put a grin on my face Pitts.

I can safely say that when i walk I am fine. I do not even think my hart rate increases an extraordinary amount.
I have a walked a lot since April. I have not really noticed a cough as such but I do notice that when I am lying down trying to sleep I do get a ticklish cough developing which can disrupt my sleep.
I will push on for awhile but if teh problem persists I might chaeck in with a Dr.
Best of luck with your run tonight by the way. If the ice has cleaed from the walkways I will be running around too.

09/01/2003 at 14:28
The good thing about stopping after 10 years Lari is that any changes in your lungs should be completetely reversible

I f*rted about with running for a few months last autumn and recognise well that burning breathlessness thing
Been runninng more committed for 3 weeks now, been off the fags for 8 days now(after 20 years), and I don't know whether its psychological or not but apart from the first few minutes warming up my breathing's tonnes better - did 13 miles other night and felt my lungs and heart could have gone on foreever - (unfortunately was starting to get a bit of chaffing, blistering, and sore knees)

So stick with it folks!
09/01/2003 at 15:42
I gave up smoking a couple of years ago, although I'm new to running.

Think of the lungs as just another muscle. You're exercising it by running far more than you ever have before, so it's bound to complain at first. Happened to me too. Just stick with the running and your lung's ability to cope with the extra demands will slowly improve. Good luck.
09/01/2003 at 16:10
Hi Lari, I gave up smoking about a year ago. I used to get very painful throat and lungs if I excercised heavily in the cold, but I am OK now. I think it just takes time for your lungs to recover from 10 years of toxic damage, can't blame them really! Keep it up and I'm sure the pain will ease as your lungs recover.
09/01/2003 at 16:32
Yet again, Cheers guys.I can see the benefits of a forum like this.
I'll push it. Hopefully my mungs will eventually catch up with my legs.
and Dr. Brainz you have a good point, it does seem to be worse when it gets colder.

Should be interesting tonight!
09/01/2003 at 17:34
Dr Brainz, are you a REAL doc like Benz and The Pitts, or just a pretend internet-type doctor person?

Lari, Well done!!! I gave up 11 years ago from a 35 aday habit and have never looked back. Wish I'd had the sense to start running then as i'd never have gained the 3.5 stone I had to work vv hard to shift.
lol and well done to all quitters!
09/01/2003 at 19:51
Thank you
09/01/2003 at 21:53
I gave up just over a year ago and was lucky - no cough, no side effects. Didn't start running until August, so the structural bits are still playing catch up to my lungs. Temperature doesn't sem to make any difference either.

One thing I have noticed though is an almost permanent feeling of having just breathed in cold air. Bizarre and, I suspect, nothing to do with smoking.

P.S I was given one piece of advice when I quit, "You only have to say no to the first one"
09/01/2003 at 22:04
I don't know the answer to the question, but wanted to wish all those currently chucking in the fags the very best of luck. I dumped them last March - had been smoking for 20 years (about 30 a day for the last 10) - and although it's still difficult it's like getting my life back! Stick with it, and congrat's on having the courage to try chucking them in :-)
10/01/2003 at 08:51
Well done to all you recovering smokers. Just a thought on the burning lungs syndrome: I've never smoked, but I do have late-onset allergic asthma. When I first progressed from 2 mile runs to 3, 4 and 5 miles, going up even a slight incline caused the burning some of you have described. It was very alarming! My way of dealing with it was to keep going, through the burning, for just a little bit longer each time, and then walking until it went away. Gradually (3 months?) it stopped happening, and now it doesn't happen anymore (been running for 6 and a half months). Good luck everyone!
10/01/2003 at 08:54
OK. Just finished my first post-quit run. And yes, my lungs felt on fire a bit. And yes, I agree with Brainz - I'm sure the cold weather had something to do with it. Having said that, the rest of me's aching this morning, so maybe I just generally pushed myself a bit too much.
And I had no urge to light up at all - even when my training partner lit up as we walked the last hundred yards home...
10/01/2003 at 09:06
Well done, Pitts. After I started running again a few weeks ago while simultaniously quitting the white stick, I found that as long as you have a good 5 mins walk and about 10 minute stretch after that it really lessens the muscle ache a lot.
10/01/2003 at 09:15
Nice one Pitts,

I managed to push a bit harder last night managing a 15 minute run before my lungs demanded more attention. Think I will try to keep it at 15 minute intervals for a while and then push for 20.

But My god was it cold!!!
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