Leg Strength

I guess this is a common thing with most runners, but I find my legs want to give in a long time before the rest of my body wants to. I feel as though I can run for hours, but the leg muscles cry out for me to stop after half an hour or so.

What would be the best ways to strengthen my legs and increase their stamina?

Interestingly I have also noticed when I run or walk my left foot points straight forward and my right leg points slightly to the right. I also find my right leg tires before my left so it may be something to do with that.


  • The best thing for better endurance is more running.

    Disagree that it's about willpower - it's mainly about being fit - you shouldn't often be training to the extent your legs are screaming and you are going slower and slower. You need a sensible balanced approach so you gradually increase your training load as you get fitter not go out and smash yourself every run.

    If you can only do half an hour maybe you are going too fast - unless of course you are very new to running in which case half an hour isn't too bad and you just need to give it time.
  • You've basically both said the same thing, slow down and go longer, I reckon 75% of endurance is about will,

    Peers if your legs are screaming it would be interesting to know how fast you go, or what distance you cover in the 30 minutes you run

  • Like the others have said, just slow down, I was out running today and my legs wanted to give up around the 6 mile mark, so I just slowed down for 10 minutes, got my breathing nice and steady and my legs came back to life and I did 9 miles.
  • Steady state runs

    Tempo runs

    Tempo interval runs

    That will increase stamina

  • Hill walking, hours on your feet without the impact.
  • EG Graham wrote (see)

    You've basically both said the same thing, slow down and go longer, I reckon 75% of endurance is about will,

    i agree with EG, of course you have to have a reasonable amount of fitness and training to go long distance but an awful lot of it is mind games and the will to get there..including the training for mara and above..nobody is going to get out there and do 20mile training runs if their heart isnt in it and theres no will-its just be torture!
  • paul , i often do what you have described. sonetimes i catch myself speeding up too much on LSR and wonder why the energy is dropping...simple things like just slow down for 3-4 miles can make all the difference as you said.
  • A fast way to build fatigue resistant legs is lunges and squats. Not with heavy weights but light weights or simply body weight. It makes an amazing difference! Add it is to your program once a week. Also intervals and hill running helps too
  • I'm just getting back into my running after around 9 months of virtually none. I usually keep going through the burn anyway for as long as I can, but I would just like to keep more comfortable for longer. On the flat I can keep going longer very comfortably, but its up and down hill in all directions from my house.

    I agree with the mental thing people have said. When you really want to go running it is a lot easier. When you force yourself to train its a lot harder.

    I have recently started hill running so I guess that will help a lot with building the strength in my legs.

    Will give the squats and lunges a go too and I have already started mixing in slow long runs and faster shorter runs.
  • You mention your right foot turns out, this could be due to a number of things but often your right hip muscles may be tight and weak causing your foot to turn out, this will reduce the effectiveness of your bum muscles and make your quads work harder.

    Here are a couple of links on how to strengthen your legs up in the gym



  • Thanks for that I will try some of the recommended exercises out
  • Interesting links Andrew.

    I used to do pump fx type classes till recently, lots of squats, lunges with light weights 5-12kg x 2.

    Joined new gym, they only do different circuits very varied but with box jumps, single leg squats in TRX, hopping, skipping as warm up, walking lunges, jumping ones sometimes with a med ball held out or high. Tough but awesome. Lots of other things.

    They also do a weights session but termed speed & strength, not light weights though, heavier ones. Again squats, various other exercises to loosen up hams & glutes.

    See how this goes.
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