By NOBULL Contributing Editor

A marathon had never crossed my mind. Every time I run, I’m reminded of why it’s not my favorite form of cardio. But over the last few months, images from the Chicago, London and New York marathons had been all over my social feed. Tens of thousands of people crossing finish lines got me thinking... 

What’s it like to run a marathon? What does it take? How does anyone physically and mentally endure the 26 long miles? 

Could I do it? Would I be able to push myself? How?  

So I went to someone who had just done it. Curt Maggitt played football for most of his life. He played defensive end at the University of Tennessee and then went on to play in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts.  For most of his life, his cardio consisted of 7 second bursts. 

“First things first. Finish 1.0, not 26.2.” says Curt. “It’s important that you stick to your plan and not try and push further because that’ll pay off on the back end.” 

Okay start small and develop a plan. What else? 

“It’s important for you to have a support system. Get a community around you. It’s important that you not do it alone . . . I don’t think I would have been successful if I didn’t have that community around me . . . ask questions of people in your network or even just at arm's length. More times than not people are going to be willing to help you develop a plan that works for you.” 

Help. That’s exactly what I need. 

“The more you can challenge yourself and stick to the small things, you’ll feel so much better once it’s complete . . . how you do anything is how you do everything.” 

Okay, specifics Curt. 

“First things first. Making the bed. Divide your laundry. Do things the right way. Because it becomes habit. Those small things can become actionable things throughout your day that you do with the same level of dedication.” 

“Make sure your running goals are smart and actionable. If you set a long-range run goal, make sure it’s something you are ready for. Next, make your goals visible. Keep your gear out where you can see it. If you see your shoes, it reminds you to keep the goal at the top of mind. It will help stay dedicated.” 

I’m definitely going to need new shoes. 

“And last, have a plan. It sounds simple but it's really important. It’s easy to fall into convenience and excuses. Have a plan and even if you didn’t follow the plan you'll find success and understand why you didn’t. There’s always something to learn from having a plan.” 

Thanks Curt. It’s amazing how having a simple daily plan and the help of those around you can help you accomplish a marathon-sized goal. 

Now, off to make my bed.