5 tricks for making a run routine stick

deanne - half marathon - speed shortsDeanne + short shorts sitting in a tree, R-U-N-N-I-N-G.

Before I began copywriting here at lululemon, I was an executive assistant for Deanne Schweitzer, our Vice President of Women’s Design. Deanne is one of the busiest people I have ever met. She travels regularly for work, has three kids, skis every weekend in Whistler and, (oh yeah) manages an insane workload...

...and somehow she also runs five times a week without fail.

Every week, no questions asked, Deanne makes the time to run regularly. I used to think that people like her didn’t exist – that they were an unattainable myth. Then I managed her calendar and literally saw it happen.

the start line

I asked Deanne when she began running and why she loves it so much. She first started running in high school and university to cross-train during swim season (jock alert: Deanne was also a competitive swimmer all through university). After she graduated, she had her first child and running was the one thing she could just get up and do; after all, going to classes and to the pool required childcare, preparation and money. Now that her kids are getting older – and sometimes even run with her – Deanne has been able to dedicate more time to her running routine. Here are some of her tricks for making it happen.

5 tricks for making a run routine stick no matter what

1. pick a time that works for you and book it into your calendar

If it’s in your calendar, it’s more likely to happen. Making appointments with ourselves and committing our precious time makes us more likely to stay on track. Also, most of us have a time of day we like running at (Deanne is a morning person). Learn what your time is and stick to it – you’ll enjoy your runs more.

2. find awesome running partners

Deanne enjoys running the most when she is joined by some of her running pals (usually her daughter or her friends Michelle and Eric).  Enroll some of your friends into joining you on your running missions – we are more likely to keep with a program if we have a partner in crime. Added bonus: running buddies also make great coffee buddies (a VERY important part of run training).

3. keep your running gear with you at all times

All of the most disciplined runners I know have one trait in common: they bring their running stuff with them every day. To make excuses even more obsolete, keep toiletries and a change of clothes at your office (Editor’s Note: I have a conspiracy theory that Deanne was born in a pair of Speed Shorts).

4. set goals and work towards them

Without fail, people who set goals achieve more. Deanne regularly participates in races and sets time goals for herself – this gives her the additional motivation she needs to train hard with a target in mind.

5. eff the program – aka, if you have spare time, just go

There were many days when I saw Deanne leave at lunch time and run for 40 minutes, only to come back and take a conference call filled with bliss and yes, covered in sweat. The moral of this story? Instead of setting rigid rules about how long her runs had to be, Deanne seized the time she had and just went running. Sometimes it is as simple as that.

How do you stay committed to your run routine?

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This is awesome! I don’t run but I do have a daily yoga practice. Sometimes it’s hard to commit to getting to the studio after a long day at work (my sweats and sofa call to me). If I know I’m going to be out late, I ‘eff the program’ and sneak in an early morning practice at home. You’ve gotta take care of yourself before you take care of anyone else!

Comment by Lindsey — March 6, 2012 @ 9:37 am

this is SO TRUE! This morning I got up and just ran – half in and half out (no gloves, only a baseball cap) – and did it. I’ve got them on my calendar and am training for the Chicago Marathon with my first half in just two weeks, and this is ABSOLUTELY how I’m staying motivated. My husband (www.dsafitness.tumblr.com) is my motivation and I (www.thesimplificationproject.tumblr.com) am following his lead – and it’s basically this. Glad to hear we’re doing it right. Thanks for the great article!

Comment by kat — March 6, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

Great post, and very true. I’m still trying to get on a consistent schedule with my runs, but it’s so hard when my schedule isn’t always consistent. It’s probably a good idea for me to keep some running gear on hand at all times.

Comment by Amanda — March 6, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

This is a great post, Alexis! I was JUST having a conversation with a friend about this – you have to schedule it into your day, just like brushing your teeth or feeding your llama (you don’t have one of those? Weird.).

No more excuses!! We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for!

I’m going to share this post with friends – keep ‘em comin’!!

Comment by Megan @ Fiterature — March 6, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

We’re a big believers in full body care. Therefore, “running when you can” resonates strongly with us. It’s the same as for treating your body, BEFORE it’s injured or sore.

Why wait to give your body the best chance it has to feel good? …You spend time making sure your car is working, so why not spend the time on your body as well?

Your body is your vehicle for life, taking you wherever your runs allow.

Comment by Qi Integrated Health — March 6, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

It helps when you have a team/group/partner that you commit yourself to. During last XC season in College we had to run 7 days a week while being a full time student, part time job, social life, etc. But somehow I did it because I am more likely to do something that benefits the team more than my own goals.

Try a team event like Tough Mudder to train for and tell the team your personal and team goals.

Comment by Cardio Captain — March 6, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

This is so true! I AM busy, but I use it as an excuse too often! If you’re committed to your goals, you’ll MAKE time to run! It’s great hearing about women who successfully pull it off – no easy feat!

Comment by Jenn @ RunItMyWay — March 6, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

It is so true about setting goals for running. I always make sure I enter a marathon every 6 months or so and set a time goal. This really motivates me to train hard to reach my goal.

Comment by Evangeline — March 6, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

absolutely agree with all 5 of these – sitting here nodding my head as I scrolled down the post. I always have my running/yoga gear with me, and there are times when I hit the pavement if I recognize a window of opportunity. one of my favorite aspects of running is that there’s no schedule & no class time to dictate my run.

Comment by dorry — March 6, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

You’ve just inspired me to get on the treadmill… in the middle of the day.

Comment by Jennifer Elwell — March 7, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

Such great tips for sticking to a routine…something I’m really trying to work on. Thanks for posting!

Comment by Rebecca — March 7, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

These five tricks for making running a routine sound very realistic. I used to be very athletic in high school, and now being at college I rarely head to to the gym. I think that setting your goals and working towards them is the most important bullet because you need to be realistic with yourself to get to where you want to be.

Madeline Everett
Tulane University Freeman School of Business

Comment by meverett — March 7, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

This is very helpful and inspiring. A busy woman like Deanne can make time for her runs, I feel obliged to follow her too.

thanks for sharing these tips. :)

Comment by Nash — March 8, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

Thanks so much for these tips. Deanne has some great ideas. Running, fitness, and health are all self-commitments. It takes courage to commit to these personal goals when you have no one else to measure them. I hope this inspires more people, especially at the collegiate level, to better themselves through health, fitness, and nutrition, which truly make a difference. As the saying goes, it’s having the courage to start.

Alex White

Comment by A White — March 9, 2012 @ 10:46 am

Thank you for sharing these tips and inspiration. I just started running, ( again), yesterday. Seems I talk more about it than actually doing it. It is hard for me to get started. But this time I plan to succeed!

Comment by Deb — March 11, 2012 @ 8:46 am

Love this post! Shared it on facebook. Peace. Love. Run. Yoga. Your company rocks!

Comment by Amy — March 20, 2012 @ 7:20 am

Good combination of ‘set a goal and work toward it’ and ‘eff the program.’ Sometimes just getting out the door for a quickie is SO worth it! Keep it fun and enjoyable.

Comment by Jim Oldfield — March 22, 2012 @ 5:59 am

The “Pack a bag” resonates with me because when I run I can usually just leave right from home and head straight to the River Valley to hit the trails. But where I need the bag for is my Yoga practice, I’ve gotten many offers to attend classes with friends and co-workers but had to bow out because I didn’t have my gear in the car. Unfortunately you can’t just GO to a Moksha Hot Yoga class, those need more then your standard gear.

Comment by Denise — April 4, 2012 @ 10:27 am

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