Effects of cigarette smoking on threshold/heart rate?
Alright guys, I feel like an idiot for asking this but I would like opinions, I wouldn't post this on Lyle's forum due to the criticism I would probably get.
I smoked for 5 years, quit for 5 years, then started smoking again about 4 years ago. My cardio up until the last 2 months was long, slow distance, 5 to 6 mph, I could go 13-14 miles no problem during the winter at that speed. For the last two months, I've been getting serious about increasing speed and endurance. I got Daniels Running Formula, and began playing with threshold training, using my first 5K time.
From a few studies I've read, smoking causes a lower VO2 Max, which would in effect lower the intensity it would take for me to reach lactate threshold, correct? My last 5K, I ran a pathetically slow 24:00, my heart rate was 173 a mile into it, and for the last 1.25 miles, it was low 180's and finished at 185. I've never measured my MHR but at 29 years old, I imagine it's probably in the mid 190's, running at a 7:40 pace/mile, I was running at almost 95%MHR, is that normal? I was useless after I reached the finish line, there's no way I could have gone another 3 miles if it was a 10K.
I'm seriously planning on quitting smoking very, very soon. I know I've asked enough questions, but do you guys think I should drop the higher intensity work until I quit, or years after I quit? Do you think I can improve, or will I be stuck at a certain intensity? It's hot here in Mississippi now, and the heat is only increasing my heart rate even more, I just wonder if what I'm doing is even worth the effort. Thanks for any advice, as much as I can't stand Runner World forums, a few searches there turned up some people claiming they personally knew people who smoked and ran some crazy fast times, like smoking didn't affect their speed. Maybe I just need lots of improvement?