Quit smoking, started running but fell of the Wagon.. HELP!!

Hi everyone, newbie to the forum here. I’ve had a look through existing posts and although smoking and running has already been covered I haven’t quite found the situation I’m in...and I’m just looking for some advice from anyone who has been in the same boat. I gave up smoking and took up running back in 2016, since then I’ve ran a number of 10k’s and even a half marathon. However the last couple of months my training has took a nose dive due to a couple of injuries and over Xmas I’ve done the unthinkable and started smoking again. Not full time but sociably when I’ve had a drink etc. I know it’s completely my fault but I’m freaking out a little about getting back into training and being back to square 1. Has anyone else here started running and quit smoking to then fall off the wagon down the line. And if so did you manage to get back to how fit you were when you’d quit smoking and started training. Sorry for the long post. Thanks for reading :smile:


  • I quit smoking a few years ago after a number of relapses. whenever I started running again after I felt terrible, I couldnt believe the difference the smoking made.

    If you can, Id really try to stop the smoking again as its only going to get harder & harder to stop. If you are anything like me, 2/3 on a saturday night turns into one after work, then one in the morning, and before you know it its 20 a day.
  • Cheers for taking the time to reply Jamie. Sorry it’s took me so long to write back. Definitely agree with you there, got back to running in the new year and it’s killed me but I’ve done it. Haven’t smoked since new year either and have promised myself never to smoke again. Onwards and upwards as they say! 
  • Try keep up the running, it will deffo come through in the end.
  • loads of things help however, at the end of the day - you need willpower to succeed. harsh but true. 
  • I'm sitting here now desperate for a fag but with my LSR tomorrow and Brighton Marathon booked for April it hardly any makes sense. Without wanting to be flippant that's why its an addiction.

    Theres a radio 4 play by Marcus Brigstock about Alcohol which perfectly explains the addicts brain and the tricks it plays with you in reasoning that things will be okay. I agree with Jamie, one every fortnight is okay for now but it soon becomes everyweek and so on.  

    At least with all this exercise I can eat my way through it.  

  • Don't believe this addictive personality thing and don't use will power as you will be constantly craving. Read Allen Carr's Easyway even though your not smoking at present, it will completely change your point of view. Trust me, i quit 14yrs ago and it was easy and I haven't craved one since, same with alcohol 3.5 yrs now. Good luck. <div>
  • Yeah, definitely give it up. Doesn’t do wonders for your health, let alone your performance. I’ve never really smoked cigarettes but I used to smoke a bit of weed (moreso socially also) and I do have one every once in a blue moon with friends, but I definitely notice a difference in how I feel when running, so that’s why I’ve cut it out pretty much 99.9% of the time. Running serves you more than tobacco does. 
  • I should add that the same opinion stands with alcohol. Makes me feel lousy when getting back into fitness. But life is short, so I limit myself to a few glasses of red wine every now and again. All about balance...
  • I had a 10 year battle wanting to stop and each time I managed it, the little voice telling you that you can just have one, it'll be alright, starts and eventually you have the one and the descent into full time smoking begins.

    3 years ago I went to the stop smoking service at my GP and asked to be prescribed champix, it is amazing, I cannot recommend it highly enough, it is a 3 month process but has completely made me not crave them.

    My partner still smokes fairly heavily and I do not crave it at all, so I feel I'm now a non smoker and cannot see any logic into it.

    Don't dwell on how fit you'd be without smoking, you are where you are, and just try and improve from where you are.

    Good luck, If I was in charge I'd make cigarettes illegal, evil insidious things with absolutely no upsides to them

  • Don't beat yourself up over it. I stopped smoking and started running last may. I've been injured for a few weeks and not being able to run and getting that endorphin rush made me crave the tabs again. I found trying to get to the gym, although I hate it and find it boring, made me get back into the self righteous healthy frame of mind, made me keep up my fitness and get those endorphins going round again. Treated myself to Spotify on my phone and downloaded lots of cheesy anthems from my youth to listen to on the cross trainer to keep my mind off the tediousness of it all and day dreamed about me running through marathon finishing lines looking gorgeous next year when the pesky injuries have disappeared. I think trying to keep some form of exercise going will help you if you can't run, work on that core strength, set yourself goals. If that's any help?! ?
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    I smoked many years ago, and found it hard to stop. Ultimately it does require you to want to become a non-smoker and to have the determination to avoid the cravings, particularly when in situations where smoking was a habit. One thing that helped me - being a tight Scotsman, I worked out that I was saving about £4 a day by not smoking, so after the first month I went out and treated myself with the £120 I'd saved. The first month was a new golf club, can't remember the second, etc. Whatever it was, it felt like it was free and helped reinforce the benefits and rewards of not smoking. Might help you as well?
  • Hi Have you thought about being a vaper? Still get the nicotine but with much less stress on the lungs and far fewer toxins. Even the NHS is recommending it...
    Can't believe that we still set fire to tobacco to get our nicotine - Sir Walter Raleigh would be proud..!
    Good luck
  • Hello everybody,
    i found this thread and I am one of the persons locked in to the vaping. I am very low in nicotine but I think it’s a habit. I bought the book of Allen’s and I will give a try also. 
    My other solution is the champix 
  • A relapse is part of the quitting process. There may be several along the way but it's normal and doesn't mean it's the end of the world or that you have "failed". It actually sounds like you're doing fantastically well, so just have a fresh start from today. You will find it a bit easier now, as long as you dont fall into the trap of self-sabotage, "all or nothing" thinking or catastrophic thinking "Well, Ive had one smoke, so that's ruined it all, I might as well smoke myself senseless". This is not true!

    It is also unrealistic to expect yourself not to EVER inhale again, just accept it has happened once, and it MAY happen again, but its not the end of the world and you can move on now - and it may even feel a bit easier bow too, as you know that you can stop again, because you have already done so.

    Its the same with any addiction or eating disirder, one day at a time and every day is good, dont beat yourself up over a small single-fag relapse, just crack on with not snoking again straight after- you know you can do it now, so just "keep calm and carry on!" Very best of luck to you! 
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