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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone want to share how their cycling fitness improved after quitting? I think that's a cool incentive.
 

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Call me a Fred
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I'm not sure that there would be any meaningful improvement in fitness from quiting smoking. The benefits of not smoking are that you don't do longterm damage to the lungs and the rest of the cardiovascular system. There have been lots of world class athletes who smoked without apparent performance problems (in the short term).
 

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gastarbeiter
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IMO that's BS.

Yes, there have been elite athletes who smoked. but most of the ones i think of are fat @ss baseball players.

the one sport/athlete that comes close to cycling (that i can think of right now is football). johan cruyff was a chain smoker, and football/soccer is one of the toughest sports out there, but it doesn't require the kind of constant effort required to race up a mountain does, or do a time trial.

MikeBiker said:
I'm not sure that there would be any meaningful improvement in fitness from quiting smoking. There have been lots of world class athletes who smoked without apparent performance problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
MikeBiker said:
I'm not sure that there would be any meaningful improvement in fitness from quiting smoking. The benefits of not smoking are that you don't do longterm damage to the lungs and the rest of the cardiovascular system. There have been lots of world class athletes who smoked without apparent performance problems (in the short term).
It seems to me that if your lungs are filled with the soot of smoking that you wouldn't be able to process O2 to your blood as efficiently. So if you stopped smoking and your lungs cleared you could expect a performance boost. But so far no reports to this effect.

Keep on smokin' I guess.
 

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All I wanted to say about this is:

I quit smoking after 15 years, and no matter what the monetary, or physiological advantage is to NOT smoking.... It's worth it cause I FEEL better, even the smell of cigarettes gives me a headache now. I will NEVER have another cigarette. If you do smoke, quit! It will be hard and all that, you might even gain weight but if you continue to ride that weight will disapper. And your wallet will eventually let you purchase that new ride in the shop window. ;)
 

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gastarbeiter
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got some proof on that? not disputing him being faster than any of us, but if he actually does, then maybe he'd have more of a career than he has.

cyclemedic said:
Henk Vogels smokes, and he's faster than any of us.
 

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Call me a Fred
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"Many prominent athletes smoke Luckies all day long with no harmful effects to wind or physical condition." 1929 ad.

I know the cigarette companies would not lie to us. They are as honest as the government.
 

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I smoked for about 6 years, pack a day. Spent all my time sitting around coffee shops and got fat. Prior to this I swam and cycled a lot during high school. 7 years ago I quit smoking, and bought a bike, and started riding. The first summer I lost over 50 lbs, feel great and would never go back. I feel that picking up an addiction that smoking would inhibit greatly helped me quit. There is no doubt that lungs full of tar & other nastiness are less efficient.
 

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My take: from a former smoker...

I smoked for nearly 8 years (1pack to 1.5 packs per day). I tended to prefer the filterless as well. One morning 4 years ago, I woke up and decided I had had enough. I did some minor research on road bikes (I had ridden when I was in my early teens) and then went out and bought a steel Univega on sale for $899. I went out and completed a 4 mile ride and thought I would have to go to the emergency room upon completion. It felt like I had been sucker punched in the gut! I had never realized to that point just how far my cardiovascular system had degenerated. I continued pressing myself to ride anywhere from 4-10 miles on average per day after that. Within a month I was up to 20-25 mile rides. Within another month, I was able to ride 40-50 miles comfortably. After 6 months, I completed my first century. After 1 year, I raced my first CatV race and finished 3rd. My resting HR fell from a high of 68 to 55 within that first year. Now it's down to where it was before I started smoking, 44. I'll never fully recover from the damage I did to myself smoking all those years, but I can say definitively that choosing to quit smoking and start riding instead has saved my health and my life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
botto said:
got some proof on that? not disputing him being faster than any of us, but if he actually does, then maybe he'd have more of a career than he has.
I actually read the same in an article once. (Velonews?) He was in Boulder recovering from his horrendous high speed crack up and I guess people had seen him partying and smoking. When he was asked about it he said he smoked "occasionally" as I recall and that it was no big deal. Not like a pack-a-day guy.

Eddy Merckx has also admitted to smoking, again occaisonally, during his career and everyone knows he smoked after it. Kidn't he make kind of a scene at one of those Lance Ride for the Roses thingies because he kept stopping for "smoke breaks?"

Frank VanDenBroucke is another famous cycling/puffer. Things didn't work out so well for him.
 

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Call me a Fred
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Lots of pro athletes used to smoke. It was socially acceptable and didn't seem to hurt their performance.
Suns legend Connie Hawkins, who hasn’t lit up for well-over two decades now, agrees that views on smoking have changed greatly over the years. In particular, he remembers an instance in 1973 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Hawk was just killing time before meeting up with then-Suns Public Relations Director Tom Ambrose, when he got that urge.

“Tom came to get me to go do an interview at halftime with Al McCoy,” the Hall of Famer recalled. “He walked into the locker room and I was sitting there waiting. Jerry was being interviewed and Tom came over to me. I said, 'Hold on... Jerry!’ And Jerry turned around. 'Throw me a smoke.’ So he threw me a cigarette. Tom saw that and said, 'Now I know I’ve arrived in the NBA.’ That’s what it was like back then.”
http://www.nba.com/suns/news/adhs_smoking.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
El Guapo said:
I smoked for nearly 8 years (1pack to 1.5 packs per day). I tended to prefer the filterless as well. One morning 4 years ago, I woke up and decided I had had enough. I did some minor research on road bikes (I had ridden when I was in my early teens) and then went out and bought a steel Univega on sale for $899. I went out and completed a 4 mile ride and thought I would have to go to the emergency room upon completion. It felt like I had been sucker punched in the gut! I had never realized to that point just how far my cardiovascular system had degenerated. I continued pressing myself to ride anywhere from 4-10 miles on average per day after that. Within a month I was up to 20-25 mile rides. Within another month, I was able to ride 40-50 miles comfortably. After 6 months, I completed my first century. After 1 year, I raced my first CatV race and finished 3rd. My resting HR fell from a high of 68 to 55 within that first year. Now it's down to where it was before I started smoking, 44. I'll never fully recover from the damage I did to myself smoking all those years, but I can say definitively that choosing to quit smoking and start riding instead has saved my health and my life.
Kudos to you and the other former smokers. I have no doubt that not-smoking is it's own reward in spades with variety of great benefits but was really wanting to know if someone smoked and cycled and then quit and suddenly got faster?

Just a theory of mine.
 

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gastarbeiter
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it could be a pipe dream of mine, but i was once told by a lung specialist that if you're a smoker, and you quite, that you're lungs will clean up in about 5 years. so maybe you managed to avoid permanent damage? at this point i think i let myself slide for FAR too long.

El Guapo said:
I'll never fully recover from the damage I did to myself smoking all those years, but I can say definitively that choosing to quit smoking and start riding instead has saved my health and my life.
 

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I'd heard the same thing. I know that after 7 years of not smoking, my lungs feel better than ever.
In response to Sintesi, I went from riding ~40 miles a day to riding and smoking to smoking and not riding, back to riding without smoking. The more I smoked the worse my endurance got. It eventually got to where I gave up on riding. I don't think it's possible to smoke in that volume and ride at a training level. Undoubtedly, had I stopped before I gave up on riding I would have gotten faster again.

Does that answer your question?
 

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You can't count the french. They intentionally do things to increase suffering, just to have more reason to spit on God.
 

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whit417 said:
French? That's il Re Leone! He's 100% eye-talian.
My bad. Didn't know and figured I had a 50/50 chance :) You have to admit though, smoking while riding is a very french thing to do :)
 
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