I've been reading along and posting the odd comment since I started the programme but this is my first post. I'm just getting ready to head out for Run 2 of Week 4 and this will be my second run as an ex-smoker. I'm a 23 year old man, slightly overweight and have smoked 12-15 a day for the last 6 and a half years. I started C25K because I want to get back to the running I enjoyed so much in my mid-teens (before I smoked!) and hope to live a more healthy lifestyle - I've also joined my girlfriend on her Slimming World diet for the past 10 weeks or so.
Upon starting the programme I could never have imagined I'd have made it to Week 4! It's true that the first run is the hardest, since then I've managed to complete each run and have not yet repeated a step, managing to follow the steady progression of the programme. As a smoker I've found it difficult to keep my breathing under control, I'd say I've found this more difficult than the physical exertion on my legs. It is because of my desire to see this through to Week 9 (and beyond) that I started to taper down my cigarette intake on Friday, and woke up on Monday determined to go 'cold turkey'. So far - so good! It was tough making it through that first day - very much like W1R1 - but by managing my cravings and concentrating on the upcoming W4R1, then heading out to complete that lovely but exhausting run in the sun, I made it through my first day smoke-free in years! I also found that even after one day I was noticing improvements to my breathing while running.
So yesterday was surprisingly easy, very few cravings until I decided to put the BBQ on after work. However I made it through and have woke this morning with no cravings for my 'morning ciggie' and I'm excited to head out for W4R2.
I would never have thought a month ago that C25K would lead me to stop smoking. This is the first attempt I've ever made to quit and I'm determined to see it through. I am very optimistic about stopping. Although it has been touched on in a few of the posts I've read on here, I need to express my amazement at how running can improve your mental state. I believe that the running I've been doing over the past few weeks has given me the mental power to quit, the confidence that I can indeed stay off them and removed the anxieties that triggered me to smoke. The power of exercise on the brain is immense and the positivity we gain from completing each step in the programme can be channelled to achieve something positive in other aspects of our lives.
I'm interested to hear if anyone else has started/completed the program whilst continuing to smoke, but I'd also love to hear from any other ex-smokers and their experience of quitting along with any tips they may have. It would also be great to hear from anyone else who believes in the positive impact that running has on our mental state.
Sorry for the long post. Have a good run & thanks for reading!