This Leg and Cardio Day Will Pump Up Your Pace and Endurance

U.S. and Brazilian soldiers run.
U.S. Army soldiers from 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Brazilian army soldiers from 5th Light Infantry Battalion run in Lorena, Brazil, Dec. 2, 2021. (Pfc. Joshua Taeckens/U.S. Army photo)

If you are in a cycle of training where you're working on faster run, swim or ruck times, you may want to lay off heavy weights for a month or so and focus on your pace and lungs. Here is a sample leg and cardio day that works really well at building up your pace and the endurance of your legs for longer events.

Warm up with a one-mile run and stretches.

Repeat four times.

  • Half-mile run fast

  • Squats 20

  • Lunges 10/leg

  • Light stretch one minute

Repeat four times.

  • Quarter-mile sprint

  • Squats 20

  • Lunges 10/leg

Run two miles at an easy pace.

Ruck or swim with fins for 30 minutes for max distance and time.

A great way to top off your leg day is to swim with fins and/or ruck for 30-45 minutes. Find some hills for more leg burn as well.

This is not a beginner run/leg PT day. This workout totals six miles of running and many reps of leg PT. Build up to this level over time if you are not a runner yet. Replace running with high resistance-level biking to have a non-impact option of this workout.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you're looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to

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