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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 06-15-09, 01:52 AM   #1
aural exciter
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Quit smoking:

Gave up a 40 yr. nicotine habit thanks to cycling. I'm riding twice as far and have twice the energy.
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Old 06-15-09, 03:24 AM   #2
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Fantastic!! I am 6 years smoke free myself. It sure does make cycling more enjoyable.
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Old 06-15-09, 05:58 AM   #3
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Good for you and those around you and close to you. Keep it up. I quit 33 years ago. Nasty, nasty habit.

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Old 06-15-09, 08:11 AM   #4
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Congratulations.

My cousin and I started smoking when we were 14 years old. I quit when I was 26 yrs old, he never did. I was up to 3 packs a day when I quit and and took up biking. I'm now 60 years old, still biking.

My cousin never quit and died of emphysema 5 years ago. For the last 5 years of his life, he carried around an oxygen tank. Nasty, deadly habit.
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Old 06-15-09, 08:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by aural exciter View Post
Gave up a 40 yr. nicotine habit thanks to cycling. I'm riding twice as far and have twice the energy.
Congratulations!
How did you do it?
I've quit several times and am always in the market for a crutch.
Seems that if I just stay on the bike, the need for a smoke is considerably diminished.
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Old 06-16-09, 08:42 AM   #6
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Congrats!!!!

25 year habit, gave up on it Sept. 15th last year. COLD TURKEY!!!!!!!! should have done that many years ago.
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Old 06-16-09, 10:29 AM   #7
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Congrats on quitting!

I quit smoking February 2008 after smoking nearly 20 years on and off using the patch. I wish I could claim double the energy levels.... I do definately feel better though. Beware that the addiction or want for cigarettes can linger for many months. You just have to remind yourself that you are not missing anything. Think of the money you are are now saving and use that to justify your next bike purchase.
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Old 06-16-09, 08:52 PM   #8
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Beware that the addiction or want for cigarettes can linger for many months.
Just keep riding and this will take care of itself. The more you ride the more you appreciate NOT having a cigarette.
I smoked 18 years, quit 3 years ago and now race. It gets better and easier the more you exercise!
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Old 06-17-09, 07:15 PM   #9
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Congratulations. I quit smoking a long time ago and have never looked back. Besides being in better physical condition, food tastes so much better. There are things I eat now that as a smoker with dead tastebuds I wouldn't tolerate.
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Old 06-17-09, 10:57 PM   #10
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ALso...

Just the topic I'm looking for. I'm 62 and quit exactly one year ago. I started sycling at 38 and I have always been involved in sports from a very young age and also throughout work on work baseball teams etc. I did my first century at 41 and have done a few on and off until retiring 7 years ago, Since stopping the cigarettes, I have steadily improved and my heart rate is down to 49 and blood pressure is good.

My question to you is will the lack of cigarettes continue to help me for "how much longer?" I ride 6 days a week; always at least 20 miles with a long ride on Sat or Sun. (normally 30-45) I am still having trouble with my climbing, more than anything. My breathing and ability to get the lactate out of my thighs is much improved, but I still feel that I should be improving more than I am. By the way, I'm 6' and 200 ( I was always 185-190, but I;ve added 10 since quitting and I'm finding it hard to shed it) I ride a 2004 Cannondale R600 rod bike.

Thanx for any info! I'm doing the Utah "Ulcer" Century this August with my sone-in-law and grandson. They live in Utah, I live in So. Cal. so the elevation difference has always kicked my @ss. I'm hoping my quitting will be noticeable this time...in a good way!
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Old 06-17-09, 11:46 PM   #11
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Quitting Smoking:

I didn't use a patch or device to quit. Many well meaning friends suggested gum, patch, chantix etc. I didn't want to enable myself to smoke, so I went Cold Turkey as they say. I made smoking my enemy and developed a hatred for it. Every time I have an urge, I treated it like something that wants to hurt me. Eventually it goes away, but it is a struggle. I still have an occasional urge, but they get further apart.
I am saving $250.+/mo. I use the money saved for for new bike parts or guitar things because I play music.
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Old 06-18-09, 09:44 AM   #12
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I quit over 5 years ago. It was one of the hardest things I ever did. I got a prescription from my doctor for welbutrin. It just made my cigarettes taste different. I picked a stop date and quit. First 3 days I thought I was gonna go crazy. After I got through those then it got a little easier. I carried around sugar free hard candy for a while. When I had the urge I would suck on the candy. Now cigarette smoke is really nasty to me. I couldn't believe how bad it smells. I think gum, patches, etc... just prolongs the addiction. You just have to suffer through the withdraws to beat it. It is the best thing you can ever do for yourself.
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Old 06-18-09, 10:20 AM   #13
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Congrats to you quitters!

I never smoked myself, but I'm a little bit of a drinker. Getting into cycling made me cut down my drinking a huge amount, to the point where I rarely drink anymore and often loath the taste of alcohol. Alcohol is terrible for physical fitness, and I love cycling so much that I couldn't stand sacrificing my improvement in cycling just to drink. Awesome!
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Old 06-22-09, 03:10 AM   #14
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Cold Turkey is the best way to do it. Everyone I know that went with chantix, wellbutrin, gum or the patch is still smoking. I even feel jealousy from them, but I decided that today was the day and I stuck with it. I went through terrible withdrawals, night sweats for about 3 days. I felt like a junkie needing a fix. After that I was ok. Get through the first week cold turkey and you can beat it.
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Old 06-22-09, 07:25 AM   #15
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Cold turkey worked for me, 33 years ago. Really, there isn't a faster way. Weeks of patches are not going to give you any perks. They will only make you smoke longer than you would if you just quit, flat out.
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Old 06-22-09, 02:18 PM   #16
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I quit 4 months ago, and it is wonderful. I can go for a nice 40 mile ride and even on the longest hills, my lungs never hurt, my legs do but that is a good hurt.

I pass MY first major hurdle last weekend. We went to a party at a friends house, there was plenty to drink and a good friend still smoking, even while drinking and smelling second hand smoke, never had the urge to bum one from him.

I am also attempting my first triathlon in August, something I would have never even imagined when I was smoking.

Congrats on quitting and enjoy life after smoking, it really is better.
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Old 06-22-09, 02:59 PM   #17
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<----Looks at cancer all day long. Quit smoking, best single thing you can do for your health.
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Old 06-22-09, 04:02 PM   #18
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While playing my new Fender Stratocaster, I am reminded of how much $$$$ I saved. Heck I might even get the new crankset I've been wanting. If I would have quit sooner I would have even more toys to play with!
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Old 06-24-09, 06:31 PM   #19
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Congratulations,
That reminds me, yesterday I was biking on my route, and a women riding her bike the opposite direction had a cigg lit up in her mouth as she was pedaling. I couldn't help from laughing.
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Old 06-24-09, 07:08 PM   #20
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Great job, Keep it up.
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Old 06-26-09, 02:20 PM   #21
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i quit about a year ago. i simply got tired of smoking, so i stopped. it wasn't hard at all.
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Old 06-26-09, 02:23 PM   #22
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Gave up a 40 yr. nicotine habit thanks to cycling. I'm riding twice as far and have twice the energy.
Good for you. A very wise choice. I gave up smoke about 14 years ago.
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Old 06-26-09, 08:52 PM   #23
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thompsonpost,

I agree, all those methods just keep you hanging on to the habit. In AA they call that enabling.
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Old 06-29-09, 07:25 PM   #24
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a smoking history and my "How to Quit" method

Recently my dental appointment went exceedingly well! My lack of tobacco consumption for the past few months means less staining on my teeth, consequently less Plaque. That translated over to an easier time in the dental chair. Michelle my Hygienist, says this is the best condition my Gums have been in ever!

My relationship with smoking is all about Nicotine addiction, which for me has been life-long. For several years now I have not consciously inhaled tobacco smoke. That is to say, I have made a specific effort not to draw tobacco smoke into my lungs, while still puffing on the smoldering nicotine delivery component(since 1996, pipe and cigar only).

My Mother who has not smoked tobacco in 40 some & odd years, and my Father who has been clean for almost as long, are responsible for my initial ADDICTION to Nicotine. There it's been said! I was born addicted to Tobacco, Nicotine specifically.

Growing up with my parents meant a constant supply of stale and sometimes fresh second hand smoke. By the time I was 5 or 6, I had picked up more than a few discarded smoldering butts, discards from my Father mostly, from the lawn or along the driveway. By the age of 9, I was stealing whole and partial packs of cigarettes. By age 11, I was purchasing cigs from the corner Bodega for about 35 cents a pack. By age 16, I was fully hooked psycho- as well as physiologically. It was a pack-a-day habit comprised of ritualistic moments of consumption through-out the day. And YES, it was an expression of defiant independence.

All through my day to day living, smoking had become an integral part of my breathing. I was totally wrapped up in the rituals of smoking. It was comforting somewhat -everything except the hacking cough. Smoking after: meals, sex, etc...I couldn't crap with out a smoke. Smoking was a natural extension of a coffee break, partying, wine and liqour consumption, social activity... 5 hour marathons of chess were even more grueling with a pack of smokes(20 cigarettes and sometimes more, smoked in the course of an evening of games).

Often, first thing in the morning my lungs ached from so much smoke. One way you can tell your Nicotine addiction is for real, is when you aren't brand restricted, or mode of delivery restricted. In times of poverty I rolled-my-own. Must've rolled 10,000 -It definitely was thousands! I remember rolling 200 at a time, consuming 7 ounce cans of Top or Kite every a week or so.

I smoked everything through the years. By the beginning of my "Thirties" I had made a few feeble attempts to quit, mostly by substituting another form of tobacco and a corresponding increase in food food consumption instead of cigs. By the time I finally managed to give up cigarettes in 1990, I had smoked dozens of different brands, filtered, unfiltered, mentholated & etc, and tipped the scales at a hefty 240 lbs. At one point in 2004 my weight was an intolerable 264lbs

I bought a lot of pipe tobacco and cigars over the years -grew to love the stuff! The best part of it all is, I no longer had to "actively inhale" (this helped break a psychological aspect of the addiction). By the time I was in my 50's, I had grown, harvested, and cured a couple of pounds of my own tobacco. Still got about a half pound of home-grown tobacco bagged up, and stored. Of the five humidors I own, only one has cigars in it now, about a dozen or so well aged stogies. I do expect to smoke a cigar or a pipe every once in a great while (like tying one on so to speak). Emphasis on "once-in-a-great-while"! I will always be attracted to nicotine. But I will never again let myself lose control. I chew minty sugar free gum now. A stick can last me several hours of mindless chewing.

I have said for years and I believe it to be a truism: The insidious part of smoking is INHALATION. Stop inhaling the smoke and the addiction begins to subside (though never is the urge completely at bay). See, inhaling is breathing, a most basic auto-reflex. That's what makes the addiction so complete. If you could smoke without direct inhalation (you'll never escape the "second hand" aspect) you still would not be out of the woods so to speak. Nicotine is easily absorbed through oral and nasal membranes. But "not inhaling" may be a step along the path to quitting (perhaps a first step in reprogramming the habit). Stop inhaling and your lungs will immediately begin to improve.

How to quit Smoking:
Quitting must involve some lifestyle changes(like going for a spin on your bike instead of lighting up on the porch)!
  • First, don't light that first one of the day. If you do, you've "smoked the day". Try again tomorrow!
  • Second, Consider the use of a substitute. (I tried Nicorette gum once, it didn't work for me). When I tried the Nicorette I did not have an exercise regimen which is a neccessary part of quitting. exercise is essential to successfully quitting.
  • Third, An exercise regimen especially during times that you might think would be ideal to be smoking.

    To quit, try a lifestyle change with exercise, nicotine substitution, and liberal use of sugar free gum and/or mints, It could be your method to complete success!
(exercise is a critical part of the formula!) It could be a brisk walk if you've got the knees or ride a bike.

The point about quitting is to change your ritual and in the process change your lifestyle. Retrain your brain! Don't be discouraged with failure. You may fail multiple times but don't stop trying to quit. You will accomplish the goal if you don't give up!

So am I truly nicotine free? Right now -YES!

Last edited by bikerjohn; 06-29-09 at 07:32 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-05-09, 07:02 PM   #25
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I quit Sep 2, 2008 using Chantix after 17 years of smoking. Had tried many times before using the patch, gum, Nicorette, and Zyban but never made it 24 hours. I've been running and mountain biking since and also picked up my first road bike a couple of days ago. Part of the celebration of being quit so long and will help me stay quit, too.
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