Q: How can I build strength in my legs for running?

Here’s another question and answer… 🙂

(It’s answered by me mind, no expert, but I know what I know based on my experience) 😀

What exercise, other than just running can you suggest to build strength in the legs?
I’m finding that my cardiovascular fitness is building quickly but legs hurting after about 30 mins.

Cycling and Spinfit are good ways to condition the legs so that they can deal with running for longer durations. If you are a member of a gym, you could also try out gym classes like BodyPump, BodyCombat and the like.

Another activity is strength training.  You can do it in a gym, or at home (without weights) using your bodyweight as resistance.

You can do the exercises for a set period of time – for example:
30 seconds each with 10 seconds rest then move onto the next exercise.
(Use the Tabata HIIT app if you have an iPhone to measure the timings).

Or do 3 sets of 20-30 reps of each exercise. 
You can do the exercises as a circuit (one after the other, repeat 3 times),
or as part of a superset (2 exercises, 1 set of each, repeated 3 times).

Aim to do 1 – 2 strength workouts a week.  Build your running up slowly and don’t run too fast.

Bodyweight Leg Strengthening – choose 8-10 exercises
30 secs work: 10 secs rest   or  20 – 30 reps of each exercise, with limited rest between
(youtube the exercises if you aren’t sure what they are)

Warm up (1-3 repetitions):

Sprints / running on the spot
Power Squats
Log Jumps
High Knees
Butt Kick
Vertical Jumps

Then do one of the two options below:

Option 1 (1 -3 repetitions)

Power Jumps
Lunges (each leg)
Suicide Drills
Belt Kicks
Mountain Climbers
Ski Abs
In and Outs

Option 2 (1 -3 repetitions)

Jumping Jacks
Basketball Jumps
Burpees / Squat Thrusts
Sprints (10-15m) (or Mountain climbers)
Hurdle Jumps
High Knees
Butt Kicks
Beat Your Boots

(Choose the ones in bold if you just want to do 4 of the 8 exercises)

Or try some of the bodyweight workouts here:


Or see here on Runnersworld:


Or here are some weights workouts:

Winter Strength Workout Challenge

Gym work

For gym work, aim to do 20-45 minutes of strength work a week, 1-2 times a week.
Use weights which do not affect form, but build endurance (ie not too heavy so you can lift 12-15 repetitions)
Superset: Do one exercise, then the next, with limited rest between.
Then repeat both exercises, one after the other again, and again.

Lower Body workout
Do 3-5 of the following supersets:
12-15 reps, 3 times each:

Superset 1:

Superset 2:
Step ups with weights
Box Jumps / Single Leg Deadlift

Superset 3:
Romanian Deadlift
Hip Extension (on gym ball)

Superset 4:
Leg Press
Calf Press

Superset 5:

These will build endurance and help to strengthen your legs.  You may consider doing another day of Upper body strength work, something like:

Upper Body workout

Do 3-5 of the following supersets:
12-15 reps, 3 times each:

Superset 1:
Chest/Bench Press
Single Arm Row (both arms)

Superset 2:
Skull Crushers
Lateral Raises

Superset 3:
Shoulder Press
Bent Over Row

Superset 4:
Tricep Pushdowns/kickbacks
Bicep Curls (cable or dumbbell)

Superset 5:
Tricep Dips
Lateral Pulldown

(Once again, do the ones in bold if you just want to do 3 supersets)

Other alternatives include the Bosu Ball, Kettlebell or practice standing on one leg when you do daily things (like brushing your teeth!)

This entry was posted in Questions. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s