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Why Chip Gaines Is Starting Small As He Trains for His First Marathon

Most of Chip Gaines' projects involve remodeling homes, but the 43-year-old from HGTV's Fixer Upper is ready for a new endeavor: running his first marathon. (Thinking of doing the same? Here are four unexpected ways to train for a marathon.)

Even though running 26.2 miles is a massive goal, Gaines is taking things one step—or .2 miles—a time. (Related: The #1 New Year's Resolution Mistake Everyone Makes According to Experts)

"[I] set a modest goal of 1.7 miles for my first run. You're probably wondering why we chose such an odd distance. Well, as I work toward this goal of 26.2 miles, the only thing I'm absolutely sure of is that I can run .2 miles," he wrote in a recent blog post. "So for every run on my training schedule, I'll be tacking on that extra .2—kind of as a catalyst to remind me that it all starts with the small stuff. I have to remember that no matter what, I can always run .2 further than I think I can. And when race day comes, all I'll be focused on is the first .2, then the next, and so on."

Even though he set a big goal, Gaines reminds us it's so important to start small and work your way up. Creator of Love Sweat Fitness, Katie Dunlop mirrored similar sentiments in a blog post of her own where she emphasized the importance of setting "micro goals" that give you an immediate sense of gratification. That way you see your hard work paying off quickly, which gives you the motivation and drive to continue making changes. (Here are some other ways to set resolutions that you'll actually keep.)

That's not to say it's easy. "I was thinking I could handle this 1.7 mile run no problem," Gaines wrote. "Turns out I would have been better off running to the mailbox and back because by the time I rounded the first-mile mark, I was gasping for air and it took everything I had not to keel over right there. I started to wonder if this was a bad idea after all."

As luck would have it, he ran into Gabriele Grunewald, a four-time cancer survivor and USA Track and Field athlete, while running in Central Park, and she agreed to help him with his training. "After hearing Gabe's story, I realized two things: I didn't want to spend another second standing on the sidelines, and secondly, given what she's gone through, I didn't have any excuse not to give this a shot. So I committed," he wrote.

Now, Gaines is feeling more confident than ever about crossing that finish line and is ready to put in whatever it takes to get there. "Every day of training up until then is something to be proud of—because I'm making it happen," he concluded. "And 26.2 doesn't sound so long when you think of it like 2.62 x 10. That somehow sounds doable."

Having trouble hitting your own resolutions? Check out our 40-Day Plan to Crush Any Goal and sign up to receive daily tips, inspo, recipes, and more straight from our lead goal-crusher, The Biggest Loser trainer Jen Widerstrom. Remember, we're all in this together!

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