Im 16 and im a year round runner in my high school... im going into my junior year of winter track and im having some questions. I have smoked and drank a few times and i was wondering if there is any permanant damage to my body that would stop me from reaching my full potential if i stop now. I really dont know where i could ask this until now, but i want to know because i would like to start over not doing any of that stupid stuff and if im not ever going to run the same as i could have without it, i don't think i want to continue running. Any opinions are really appreciated, thanks...
Studies indicate that lifelong smokers can recover near full lung capacity in about 2 years after they quit. Most of them were completely clean in 2 years after years of pack-a-day or more.
It sounds like: a) you haven't smoked for very long; b) you don't smoke all that much; c) most smokers are inactive, while you kept up with some running.
So... your recovery time should be very rapid, and the recovery should be complete in that relatively brief period of time.
Congratulations on recognizing the real value and effect of smoking. And double-congrats on wanting to start clean. Chances are your performance during the first few weeks may still be tainted by your former dirty habit, but unless you've been a pack-a-day or more since the age of 7, I bet you'll be running on all pulmonary cylinders within that second month or so.
Most smokers have tried over and over again to quit. Tobacco is addictive, and if you get hooked, it can be extremely difficult to quit, so stay away.
It is not entirely true that lung function returns to normal when people quit smoking. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is often caused by smoking and is a it does not go away. You don't get COPD from smoking a couple of cigarettes, but it's one of those things that sneaks up on smokers and all of a sudden they realize they get short of breath doing simple everyday activities, and if they quit at that point it slows down the progression of the disease, but the disease is Chronic, it does not go away.
Started C25K 2/14/10 Age 51 and NEVER have run before.
Coventry Challenge 5K 3/20/10, end of W5 of C25K. 40:44
Spring Forward 5K (YMCA) 4/10/10 39:57
Focus 5K Run/Walk 5/13/10 32:24... in Orlando on a totally flat course
Coventry Challenge 5K 3/19/11 37:59
?Operation Backpack 5K 5/21/11 ??? fast-paced race, finished next to last