Smoking Runner Wants to Quit Smoking

Hi, I am a 40 year old female, smoking for the past 21 years. I have completed 7 full marathons, 3 Two Ocean ultra marathons and various other long races.

I started running in 2000. I have never quit smoking but for the first time, I am trying to quit now.

I smoked about 30 a day and I'm down to about 10 a day now and have changed to a lighter brand.

The reason for deciding to quit is: I recently ran my first 11.5km race (did not run any races for the past 4 years, as I had a child).

I have only been running about 30km a week for the past 4 years (single mom, no time). And I have mainly run on a treadmill.

At the 11.5km race (bush trail), I felt my heart pumping a lot - as if I was going to have a heart attack and got a huge fright.

I desperately want to stop smoking and I desperately want to become the athlete I have always wanted to be.

If I do not do it now, there won't be another chance.

Please advise me how I should go about stopping smoking and how I must train to get strong and fit again.

running tips quitting smokingAnswer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thanks for your questions. Nothing like a good health scare to get us into action!

I am not a health professional, just a guy who likes running.

So I am not qualified to tell you how to stop smoking.

I would advise getting professional help from your doctor.

A good Australian government website (I live in Australia) is They provide helpful advice and coping strategies.

There is no doubt it is a tough addiction to break and it may require multiple attempts to kick the habit.

After you have stopped smoking your body will start its repair. Within a few days the level of toxins in your body will have dropped.

This alone will help provide more oxygen to your heart and muscles and should help your running performance.

Within a number of weeks your lungs start working better and over time (number of months) this will allow you to draw more powerful breaths which will have a strong influence on your running ability.

So, just stopping smoking will have some really good effects on your health and running. After that, it is a matter of using an intelligent running program to make best use of the limited time you have.

I would advice reading the following pages:

Running Training

Daniels' Running Formula --> use some of the money you'll save by not smoking and get a really good running training book!

Best of luck.
Hope you'll succeed.
Kind regards,

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