The study was designed to determine whether treatment with an anabolic-androgenic steroid enhances running performance in rats by increasing their freely chosen training distance. Forty male Long-Evans rats were randomly divided into either a sedentary control group or an exercising group caged in specially designed running wheels in which the rats were able to run spontaneously. After 4 wk, both groups were further subdivided into two groups receiving either 0.5-mg Durabolin (nandrolone phenylpropionate) (im) or 0.5-mg saline, every second day. After 8 wk, running distance was similar in both exercising groups. Rats receiving the anabolic-androgenic steroid ran 41% longer during the test of submaximal running endurance compared to the trained rats receiving saline (P < 0.05). Submaximal running endurance was not increased in sedentary rats receiving the anabolic-androgenic steroid. After 4 wk of training, the maximal sprinting speed increased by 29% in trained rats. There was no further increase in maximal sprinting speed after an additional 4 wk of training and treatment with either anabolic-androgenic steroid or saline treatment. Therefore, rats that train spontaneously while being treated with an anabolic-androgenic steroid had increased submaximal running endurance compared with trained rats treated with saline, despite the similar voluntary training distance and skeletal muscle oxidative capacity between the two groups. The mechanism by which treatment with an anabolic-androgenic steroid, combined with training, enhances submaximal running performance could not be identified and needs to be addressed in future studies.