Everyone knows that running is a cardiovascular exercise that’s good for both your general fitness training and burning off calories. However, did you know you can also build muscle from running? Many running coaches have designed programs to help athletes build muscle mass by running. Incorporating a few strengthening techniques into your running routine will deliver quick results. Follow these running tips to strengthen your legs and build muscle.

1. Change the intensity of your runs.

By adding bursts into your run, you will start building muscle in your legs. Be sure to not push too hard, or you risk injuring yourself. Incorporate interval training as a part of your running routine. Take a shorter route than you normally would and run a cycle of sprints and jogs. Sprint for a minute and jog for three. Keep this jogging/sprinting cycle going. Sprinting works your fast twitch fibers and will increase muscle size. If you are in the gym, most treadmills have an interval setting on them.

2. Run at an incline.

If you are outside, find a running route with lots of hills. Try sprinting up the hills and jogging down. The hills provide a greater amount of strain on your leg muscles and will build them faster than if you were running on a flat surface.

3. Incorporate some weight lifting and use resistance bands.

Not only will this speed up the muscle building process, but the strengthened muscles will help protect your knees from the repeated impact they experience when running.

4. Be sure to rest.

...especially if you are doing interval training! Your body needs time to recover. You can remain active while you recover by walking, biking, or swimming.

5. Get enough protein in your diet.

Chicken, fish, and egg whites are all packed with protein. Combining the proper nutrition with your running workouts and running is necessary to maximize your results.

There are plenty of time-consuming leg workouts that require weights and machines. If you love running and also want to build up your leg muscles, follow these tips, and you won't have to choose.