Just in case the Denver Colfax Marathon (May 19) inspires you to lace up, we asked Alex DeJournett, owner and coach of training group Runner’s Edge of the Rockies, to lay out how to get from the couch to the finish line in time for 2025’s race.

1. Dragging yourself out of bed to jog isn’t easy, so DeJournett suggests joining a running club. Your new friends will teach you the basics and hold you accountable.

2. Those New Balances you wore to gym class won’t cut it. Instead, head to your local running shop to get fit by a professional. Shoes with moderate cushion for comfort and stability—plus breathable mesh to prevent sweaty feet—are a good place to start.

3. Most novices only need four months of training before a marathon, but a year of prep can aid those who are, ahem, less physically inclined. Start with short jogs a few days a week, then add in a longer run—whatever distance you can handle—once a week to build endurance.

4. Cross-training in the gym won’t just make you stronger, it will also help prevent injuries. DeJournett incorporates resistance bands and weightlifting into his workouts—both of which increase balance, flexibility, and stamina.

5. Whether you start with one mile or three, keep adding distance to your weekly long run. Your goal: to reach 20 miles around a month before your marathon. If you make it that far, you should be able to hit 26.2 come race day.

This article was originally published in 5280 May 2024.
Barbara O'Neil
Barbara O'Neil
Barbara is one of 5280's assistant editors and writes stories for 5280 and 5280.com.