I quit smoking years ago, but still run out of breath while cycling, long before my legs are fatigued.
This question was helpful, but is about a more recent quitter.
I smoked a pack a day for 16 years: 10 years on, a few years off, then a few more years, and quit about 8 years ago. I'm 46, 6'3", 220 lb. and ride 50-60 miles/week commuting & for fun, mostly flat but pretty quick (avg. 15 mph, sprint to 25 mph).
I'm on Advair & Singulair for asthma-like symptoms (or mild COPD?), coughing exacerbated by talking & shortness of breath). I don't feel airway constriction: if I stop exercising, I can
catch my breath. This started up when I first quit, went away for a few years & came back last fall with a couple of bad colds (after I hadn't had a cold or flu in well over 2 years).
I've seen a few doctors and had a couple of spirometry tests. Albuterol doesn't improve my lung function. I'm planning to go back to my Dr. for some clarity on diagnosis. Early on, they all said "reactive airway disease", but that seems to be more of a summary of symptoms than a diagnosis.
I'm really sensitive to dust, smoke & pollen. Smoking pot last weekend took me back down a couple of rungs. I won't repeat that, but might still use a vaporizer. Edibles (consumed in the evening for RSI) give me hangovers.
The earlier question suggested what I'm already doing, but perhaps more of it: aerobic exercise. Improvement is so damned gradual that it's hard to tell if it's happening at all. I tried biking up a local mountain that I've gone over once before & though I thought I was pacing myself pretty well, had to give up 1/3 of the way up.
Is there anything else I should be doing or any questions I should ask my Dr.? eNO test