Stoptober! Stop Smoking, Start Running

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK has this month begun their first ever mass stop-smoking campaign with their new project, called Stoptober.

Stoptober

Stoptober

What is Stoptober

Stoptober is a campaign by the NHS which encourages people, en mass (with TV ads, other ads, online campaigns, etc) to give up smoking.

Stop Smoking… Start Running?!

That’s what I put in the title. Why? Because up until a few years ago I was a smoker. I smoked from my mid teens until the age of 22.

Giving up smoking didn’t coincide with me taking competitive running back up. Giving up smoking, for me, stuck because I started running.

Here’s how I did it.

I stopped smoking. In the middle of the day, when I was just about desperate from the waking hours without a cigarette, I would go for a 5KM run, ending with a fast section which would leave me blowing hard. When I returned home, the endorphins released from running replaced the nicotine my body was craving and, anyway, I was too out of breath to contemplate having a smoke.

By the time the evening came around, I would repeat with another run, or football training, after which it was just a question of getting through a couple of hours to the end of the day – you don’t need to smoke when you’re asleep.

Running helped hugely in this process, because as well as replacing the happy hormones with a runner’s high, I also felt fitter, and this further reinforced the fact that giving up the ciggies is a good idea. Despite running many miles, I had miles more energy, too.

When the initial impetus wore off, I entered a big 10K event, and the rest is history… well, its ongoing, including jointly founding a website dedicated to running, right here, at Race-Calendar.com!

Since then, I’ve not become a smoker again, though I do run almost every day still – there are some things you don’t need to give up!!

So try it this month – whether Stoptober is on or over – stop smoking… start running!

Leave a comment below if you have tried – or are trying – this as a tactic to give up smoking. We’re sure to be here to encourage and help you get off the smokes and into your training!

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