Help me convince a friend (important)

I have a friend who is in his first season of cross country, and is doing very well. He has moved to number 1 on the team and has placed in the top 5 at XC meets. He is still not realizing his potential. He is also a pretty good miler and two miler, and hasn’t realized his potential in those either. The thing is that, even though he works very hard at his sports, he smokes marijuana every day. We got into a very big discussion about it and he says that he would quit if he could find proof that it hindered his performance. He doesn’t believe that it does. Could someone give me research proven facts to the negative effects of marijuana on athletes? He knows about lowering testosterone and lung capacity, but doesn’t believe he smokes enough for this to happen. If I can get proof, I think it would be truly good for him to quit. I would really appreciate any help I could get.

i can’t cite any research, but i can tell you that when i stopped smoking, my training curve went UP IN A STRAIGHT LINE it was dramatic. smoking one joint is equivalent to something like 2 packs of cigarettes… don’t even tell me that he doesn’t smoke enough to reduce lung capacity! smoking every day is excessive in the extreme.

i also tend to think that it slows reaction times, which maybe applies more to sprinters, but honestly… your ability to focus can be so reduced. can’t he at least shift to once a week or something??

You may think about telling the Coach. (anonymous).

I have been trying to talk him into slowing down at least. The only thing I think that would budge him is proff of how bad it is for him. Krasnayafleur, you and I are in the same boat, that after stopping smoking the training curve went way up. That’s not enough for him though. And 400hurdler, that’s the last thing I could do and still respect myself. Not only would I be selling him out, he’d get kicked off the team and he would hate me, and have no reason to quit if he didn’t have the team. I need to do this without losing a friend.

just to be fair- when i was still smoking and drugging and whatnot, i was still working really hard on the team and i gradually learned that i wanted to quit. i know that my coaches knew somewhat what was going on, but they believed in my ability and helped me use the team as motivation to get healthy. i do not know your coaches, but they are people too and they might see this point of view… the important thing is that the right attitudes are in place, and he is willing to make an effort.

there is no reason to name names, you could simply let your coach know that the situation exists, they might give good advice.

it is so logical that smoking does horrible things for a distance runner- wanting to see proof seems like just an excuse to cover up not being able to stop… at least that is what i think.

Krasnayafleur, how did you manage to stop smoking, was it just will power? I’m having trouble trying to quit.

I don’t want to come off sounding high and mighty but I still don’t understand the attraction to smoking and drugs, I can’t figure out why someone would want to do that to themselves.

I used to smoke cigarettes and marijuanna both, and I was actually inspired to quit by one of my teammates who saw me smoking outside one day, stopped her car in the middle of the road, and started screaming at me that i was going to die. it was someone i had a lot of respect for, so i decided that i wanted to try to quit. it was not very easy, and I definitely did not do it cold turkey, but i started keeping track of every day i didn’t smoke and i am up to 264 since my last slip.

if you secretly don’t want to quit, you never will… your heart has to be in the right place and then it is easier.

show the athlete this and tell him/her to get a grip!!!

thanks alot, X-Man. that might be what i need.

Restarting discussion…
And what about smoke marijuana in those days of CNS train ?
Any benefits or opposite ?
And if just 1 cigarette in days off or givens day ? ( once a week ? )

Krasnayafleur and misguided
how much do you smoke ? once a week ? twice, once a day…?

I don’t smoke anymore, but back a few years ago when i was smoking my most, it was usually not more than 5 cigarettes a day, which is not too much compared to some smokers.
I never really noticed trouble breathing or performing because of it, but one day i suddenly realized how stupid it was and just stopped- that combined with some other things helped me improve hugely.

Well how about rather than trying to find the amount of smoking that hurts you least, etc, you just dont take a chance of any set backs and dont/quit smoking. There are no benefeits to smoking no matter what you wanna convinve yourself

Rosscv, I do not smoke at all, I did for a couple months, and then realized that I was far too driven in track to be that kind of hypocrite. It wasn’t really an issue of physically for me, but morally.

The most pertinent point to come from the ESPN article in relation to your mate is that of reduced capacity. XC and mile runs are extremely reliant on anaerobic threshold and to a lesser extent, max VO2.

Smoking whether in the legal or illegal form rersults in the production of Carbon Monoxide (CO). CO has a greater affinty to bind to red blood cells (RBC) than carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2), which are both found in the air we breath, by some 30%. RBC carry O2 to the working muscle and carry CO2 away from the working muscle via the lung to be displaced by O2 which is then taken back to the working muscle - this cycle continues. Theorectically, the more RBC carrying O2 the better the aerobic capacity, hence the arrival of EPO in druged endurance athletes.

This increased affinity WILL reduces your mates ability to run in a combo of ways-

  1. the reduction of O2 in the blood means there is less available O2 to help aerobic power and capacity.

  2. when there is less O2, his body will start to bias other energy systems when he’s pushing it-you guessed it, the lactic enrgy system, and we’ve all felt the perals of that system at some stage!

3)The presence of CO means there is increase in blood acidity which means inefficient metabolism of O2 because of the unfavourable working environment(ie increased acidicty).

4)The accelrated rate of anaerobiasis means your mates brain starts to be starved of 02 during intense exercise (based on his decisions, sounds like it is being starved anyway), which can result in poor decisions about race tactics which can win or loss you a race in middle distance running.

All these this result in your mate running 5th and not 1st!!

At the end of the day CO is toxic to the body - people gasing themselves to death in cars die from this gas for F%&$@ sake! Smokings a glorious pastime (sarcasim here)!! And tell him smoking will harm his fetus.

Hope this helps.

It does not matter what you can show or illustrate, etc., to someone either physically or chemically addicted to this or that. You are not going to be able to change your bro. The bottom line is that your bro is going to have to change himself, in his own time. I have had more than one friend destroy their life by creating a drug problem for themselves. Friends, parents, counselors, rehab, does not mean $%&# if the user does not want to change themself. Unfortunately some people just need to learn the hard way. My two cents.
James Smith

Good points here !!
Once upon a time…
was 2 lanes,
in lane 1, a guy totaly free of drugs, he never smoke nothing…
in lane 2, a guy that smokes once a week or less…
hypotheticaly the biotype the genetics and the train is exactly the same for both, ( twins )
so, i don´t have any doubt that the guy in lane 1 will win,
and come on, no-one want´s to be a 2nd place or worst

The most valuable point is:
If you don´t smoke yet, never try this!!!
You never know how much do you´ll like it or distaste it.
Get away from smoke to get in shape to the track.