Smoking Runners

Is it just me or is this common...?

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02/08/2009 at 18:57

Saw a guy today, a fellow runner in a race, having a fag before the race.

I dont know but for me it just didnt look/seem quite right.

I used to be a smoker myself for 10 years or so but gave up after I started taking running and fitness more seriously and havent had one since 2007 and I cant see myself ever going there again.

Are there any runner smokers in the forum? Does it not affect performance?

02/08/2009 at 19:02
I smoked for 2 years while continuing to run in America, but stopped recently when I came back to the UK, and got back to my old proper training. I got into a lot of bad habits over there, but I feel better now in myself. It is possible to smoke (lightly, anyway) and run reasonably, but it's obviously not advisable. So many people smoke in the US, compared to here.
02/08/2009 at 19:12
Thats interesting Rock, as I assumed Americans were not big smokers at all. Maybe it depends on the state?
02/08/2009 at 19:29
Sometimes in winter on a cold day my feet smoke after a good run when I take my trainers off.
02/08/2009 at 19:45

Heard on here somewhere about a triathlete who leaves cigarettes and a lighter in the transition area because he can't go for more than 4 hours without a smoke!

I've just given up smoking again, and am seeing the difference already even though it's only been two weeks! The old routes that I used to blast around are a distant memory and a target for the future.

02/08/2009 at 20:00

That'll be Bouncing Barlist!

I only smoke occasionally after a stressful day at work ( 2 or 3 max a week). Even that I feel makes a difference the next day. Can't imagine what it must be like if you do it every day.

02/08/2009 at 20:32
I know someone who smokes and can still run easily. It amazes me!
02/08/2009 at 21:09
Surely the running will only open the lungs even more allowing greater damage to be done by smoking? Doesn't make sense to me...
02/08/2009 at 21:15

Former Olympic hurdler, Shirley Strong, smoked 20 a day throughout her athletics career.  Wonder what she could have done had she not succumbed 

02/08/2009 at 21:18
02/08/2009 at 21:33
Marshalled at one of the race for life runs, as one of the last people went past (slowly) I heard them say to the person next to them they'd stopped half way round to have a fag. I almost exploded, there I am standing around for 2 hours something for the last person and they decided that the best thing to do whiles going round the course was to light up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
02/08/2009 at 21:42

I dont know... When I still smoked and was a beginner runner, I always felt wrong after having a cig before or after a run. Not only mentally wrong but physically too. A guilty feeling. I wanted to give up so badly but just did it because it was a habit.

I remember the mornings waking up and having dry mouth and throat...ewww!!!

Running gave me courage to have all or nothing approach. I remember when I put down my last cigarette I felt relief knowing it was the last one.

There has been only one occasion since when I nearly had one. I was a bit intoxicated with alchol and my friend was smoking and offered me one.

I thought about it for 10 seconds or so and just realised that I know what it tastes like. Nothing new there. Nothing exciting. Done it for 10 years. I dont want it anymore. I am a runner and I love being healthy.

And I knew that was my last test.

What comes to my performance... Well I've ran a marathon. I'm still not a fast runner but... I'd rather run a marathon than TRY to run a marathon with tar in my lungs!

02/08/2009 at 21:43


As a runner/light smoker (2-3 a day) I've often wondered if smoking after exercise is even worse for the lungs than just having a smoke.

For f##k sake if i only smoke 2 a day why can't I smoke none!! Loser. grrr

02/08/2009 at 21:44
Surprised about the statistics in Debsters link!
02/08/2009 at 23:11

I gave up six months ago - I look at smokers huddled in doorways to shelter from the rain and top up their levels and think 'what a very strange habit that is'

There is a coralled (sp) area outside Paddington station in London for smokers - it looks like a cattle pen at an agricultural show

My husband still smokes and I must admit - it is one of the worst smells ever, even hours after smoking.

I became unwell a few weeks after giving up which stopped me running completley for a few months, ironic as I gave up smoking in order to give myself a chance to become as fit as I possibly could. I'm very gradually recovering and can now run to some extent. Its been a tough six months for lots of reasons but I'v not been tempted by fags, not even once. I'v yet to experience the full benefits of being a non smoker in terms of feeling really well and fit - I still have that to look forward to.

I cant help thinking that folk who smoke and run (or whatever sport) are taking their bodies for granted and will end up paying a price for being complacent.

Soap box now put away

02/08/2009 at 23:51

Do whatever you can to pack 'em in.

Took me 20 years and several failed attempts to finally kick it - and it was a combination of an appaling family illness, (and me nipping out of the hospital ward for a cig when on bedside vigil), and using running as extra motivation that finally did it for me.

Dont want to be a holier than thou reformed smoker but its an evil, debilitating adiction that saps your pocket, health and dignity.... and it will kill you in a most unpleasant manner. Yeah ok - we all know that but it still took me 20 years to be free of the shackles of nicotine

2 or 3 a day?

Then you dont need it at all.

If I can finally kick a 30 a day habit then anyone can - packing in actually wasnt as difficult as the anticipation of packing in: running my first 10k was more of a challenge in the end!

03/08/2009 at 06:49

Smoking causes lung cancer.

The best way to stop smoking is to stop smoking.

03/08/2009 at 07:40
Exactly. There is nothing "hard" in stopping. The hard part is to decide to do it. Once you'cve decided the rest is easy.
03/08/2009 at 09:09
Health issues aside, I really couldn't afford to smoke 30 fags a day!!
03/08/2009 at 10:17
I smoke 10-20 a day and still run good times. Last 10km was 41mins thats with the mother of all hangovers and 3 hours sleep! I'm running London to Brighton in 7 weeks time. I know that i could go from being a good runner to a competitive runner if i could just pack in the smokes. It is my quest to give up by the end of the year
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