Running is a healthy workout commonly practiced by individuals who want to enjoy, maintain, and promote a healthier lifestyle. It is more than just a hobby for people who have a deeper purpose in running, like aiming to be a professional runner.
But what happens when a runner is smoking cigarettes, too? How can smoking really affect running? And, if you are a smoker with aspirations to be a runner, do you have to give up smoking?
It is common knowledge that smoking has a negative effect on the lungs, and when you have healthier lungs, the more manageable running will be for you. Being able to manage your breathing more efficiently will enable you to endure running for a longer duration of time. There are runners who smoke that admitted to have more laboured breathing than those who do not smoke.
Smoking also limits the oxygen absorption in your bloodstream. Oxygen has to be transmitted to your joints and muscles in order for them to function more effectively and endure running. Since smoking limits the amount of oxygen your blood gets and sends to your system, you may easily get tired while running if you’re a smoker. It is also possible for you to encounter more frequent joint and muscle aches or pains if you smoke as a runner, as your muscles are being pushed to their limits while they aren’t getting the oxygen they need in order to produce energy and keep up with your running.
However, even though smoking can affect a runner’s performance, it’s not uncommon to find smokers among runners. You can always find some smokers from casual runners to marathon joiners. Some simply can’t quit, and some don’t feel any unpleasant physical effects that directly affect their running performance.
Sure, you can always opt to get more training to increase your stamina and muscle endurance; but just imagine how much farther you can go with your running skills if you give up smoking. You can totally maximise your lung at and muscle capacity to accomplish even greater as a runner.
At the end of the day, quitting smoking altogether to put more focus on running will be totally up to you. Just keep in mind that smoking can have a major undesirable effect on one’s health – runner or not.