A bespoke, personal training program designed especially for runners of any ability, whether you’re an amateur runner looking to pick up your pace, or an athlete looking to extract more performance and get to the next level.



Written by

Chris Nicklin is a certified Personal Trainer with over 7 years' experience, and the owner of Nxtep Personal Training. Chris qualified from Edge Hill University with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Sports Coaching and Performance Development, and has delivered over ten thousand one-to-one Personal Training sessions.

Updated 28/9/2022

Running is one of the best forms of exercise there is for a healthy body and mind. There are many benefits, including weight loss, increased energy levels, improved cardiovascular health, reduced stress and anxiety, and even better sleep! However, if you want to get the most out of your time spent running, then working with a personal trainer running coach could be just what you need.


Check out our great Google reviews!

Sarah RaoSarah Rao
07:30 30 May 24
20:41 07 May 24
The “personal trainer” at this establishment is very unprofessional and will fat shame people. I do not recommend you will be judged.Edit: No email was left to contact. Leave an email so we can discuss further thank you.
Paul CorriganPaul Corrigan
12:26 10 Mar 24
Sadly I'm leaving the area and would love to take Nxtep with me. I attend the small classes. Chris has created a unique venue that would be hard to match anywhere. The environment is warm and friendly. The sports science work that Chris does behind the scenes to prepare the classes is immense, so that we don't have to worry about it. Just plug and go. Though education is always at hand if required. The classes can be hard work (results driven) but always fun. The equipment is of the highest standard. I've always been around sports but have never experienced anything so positive and rewarding. At 57 there is no way I would ever have thought I'd lift such heavy weights or complete these vigorous exercises. Chris gets you there incrementally and safely but always with great humour. He uses a truly interactive App that plots your progress. A fitness App that actually works, who knew!!Also the clients are lovely and incredibly supportive of each other. Well bloody done Chris!
Aidan McGearyAidan McGeary
07:50 27 Feb 24
Over the past alomost 3 years, Nxtep has been central to my personal growth. Chris and his clients make up a fantastic community of people who have helped me develop in many ways. No one lifts a single kg on my behalf or runs a step for me, but as part of a positive and nurturing environment I have been able to consistently, week in, week out, exceed my expactations of what I am capable of. The Physical and mental benefits I have experienced since being a part of this community have been game changing and I owe them a great deal. Aidan.
Alana McgladeAlana Mcglade
17:44 20 Feb 24
Chris has been absolutely amazing at supporting me on my fitness journey. Everything is tailored to the individual so it suits everyone no matter what stage you're at. There's a really supportive environment that I haven't experienced elsewhere and the flexibility Chris has shown to me when needed has been amazing. Would never go anywhere else now!
Ashleigh PattersonAshleigh Patterson
20:07 18 Feb 24
CHRIS AND LUCA YOU ARE AMAZING AT WHAT YOU DO.At one point i couldnt walk up the stairs... after been hospitalized and locked in a room for nearly a month at pinderfields I was diagnosed with severe asthma to been under observation for COPD at 30 years old and still living everyday with it now, I decided to make a change. I moved to Cheshire I joined @nxtepknutsford and in a matter of months I was competing at @turfgames with the gym familyI cannot thank everyone enough who has been on my journeyNow at 32 I can lift 110kg on a deadliftI can run .... some sort of distance and always improving as much as my lungs will carry me.Never give up and push to be betterWe saw. We came. I conquered! 🏆
Steven ThompsonSteven Thompson
07:40 15 Feb 24
The model works for me , small group of less than 6 with a dedicated trainer . Have used gyms for many years but this model works for me . Complete professional instruction at all times . All about correct technique and protecting back etc . Plus there is no escape - maximising every session and getting maximum benefits . A real community approach .
deborah walkerdeborah walker
10:08 12 Feb 24
Always a great session with Chris .Come away feeling fab
Iain FountainIain Fountain
12:04 06 Feb 24
Have been training regularly each week since October at Nxtep and just wanted to give some feedback on my experience which has been nothing short than excellent. Chris, Luca and the team have provided one and one expertise, techniques, dietary plans to help with weight loss, build lean muscle and improve fitness. Can’t shout their praises enough. Good job Nxtep.
Hannah ThrelfallHannah Threlfall
14:10 10 Nov 23
I signed up for the 6 week body transformation initially to help me get my pre baby body back after gaining a lot of weight through pregnancy. I lost 8.6kgs in the 6 weeks and have since renewed my membership to continue with my progress and I’m almost down 10kgs in total only 2kgs away from my pre pregnancy weight. I have always hated going to the gym and would dread going initially but now I am 8 weeks in, training 3x per week and feeling fitter and much happier in myself it is something I definitely want to continue. I feel it has really changed my lifestyle and I am making healthier choices everyday with a much more positive outlook, my family have commented that the old Hannah is back as before I felt I’d lost myself since becoming a mum for the first time. Chris and Luca are incredibly knowledgeable about anatomy which was very important to me after having a C-section and I have seen huge improvements in my core and lower back stability. I am also enjoying the new friends I am making from the sessions and never thought I’d say it but I’m looking forward to continuing the training long term and being in the best shape of my life!!
Katie MorrisKatie Morris
08:05 15 Sep 23
I've really enjoyed the community at Nxtep. I've never been this thrilled get up before 7am to attend the gym. Chris and Luca are brilliant and I feel I've come so far in the year since I started coming. Looking forward to more progress and the pride that comes with working hard
Lesley SneesbyLesley Sneesby
08:04 15 Sep 23
Thank you Chris and Luca for your amazing help, guidance and support in such a welcoming environment at Nxtep
15:47 03 May 23
I initially joined Nxtep to get a better grip on my fitness levels after yo-yoing for years with sporadic classes and runs. It was an excellent decision as the sessions are three times a week which quickly got me in a good rhythm. Chris and Luca are both fantastic and very patient with a newbie like myself who had never lifted weights before. They have really helped me understand fitness and weight lifting a lot better. They also adjusted any exercises based on my capabilities as I had an injured shoulder for a while, and with the rehab exercises they gave me that’s now back to normal. I can’t recommend Nxtep enough!
15:38 04 Aug 22
I've been working with the guys at Nxtep for about a year now; I originally joined thinking it would be a short-term thing to lose weight for my wedding.A year later and I'm married, 12kg lighter than when I first started, lifting much heavier weights and am in much better shape in general. Chris and Luca have been amazing with my training; they always challenge me to try new things and to push further, which is really helpful for someone who's training has always seemed to plateau in the past.They've also taught me about health and fitness as a lifestyle; there's so much more to it than lifting some weights or constantly being on a diet, and they always keep things new, fun and flexible. They're also really helpful and approachable guys; I've messaged them lots of times to ask for training tips and advice when I'm going to the gym outside of training hours, and they're always more than happy to help.
Jackie KingJackie King
19:38 17 May 22
I first met Chris in January 2020. I was 12 weeks pregnant with my first child. As a trained dancer, and teacher I was hoping to maintain my levels of fitness whilst minimising the risks of my pregnancy. My early dance training concentrated on training my limbs, while often neglecting my ‘centre’ or ‘core’. It wasn’t until a back injury in 2012 due to weak lower back muscles that my approach to training changed. When I first found out about my pregnancy, I worried about my back and how to keep it strong.Chris helped me through my pregnancy teaching me safe ways of keeping my core strong, helping with my postural alignment as well as addressing some muscular imbalances that I wasn’t aware I had. Most importantly, Chris gave me the confidence to continue training through pregnancy. I knew I was in safe hands. Chris is phenomenally knowledgeable in how our bodies work.May 2022, I am currently pregnant with my second child and still continuing to train with Chris at Nxtep. Luca has also joined the team and is a fantastic addition. They are a great team, and I am very lucky to be trained by them both. I would highly recommend anyone thinking about pre or post natal pregnancy training to consider Nxtep.
Sean WSean W
12:09 02 Apr 22
Before starting at Nxtep I would go through a cycle of starting to get fit, injuring my back, then avoiding exercise for fear of making it worse. The same happened when I started here, with my over eagerness to improve leading to the same old injury. Chris and Luca kept me motivated and coached me through the recovery process, allowing me to strengthen the areas susceptible to injury and enabling me to carry on where I’d previously have given up. Now I’m lifting ~100kg more than when I first started and the past few years of persistent back injury seem a distant memory. The guys have helped me with my nutrition, my outlook and overcoming what I previously thought I couldn’t. I can’t thank them both enough!
Paul KennedyPaul Kennedy
22:59 05 Nov 21
I’ve been working with Chris and the team at Nxtep, and the initially just wanted to get stronger and fitter somewhere local when the gym near work was no longer an option due to the pandemic. I know feel really confident handling weights and my diet. I recently saw myself in a film from before I started at Nxtep and other people couldn’t recognise me from me who didn’t know me well so, it definitely works! Highly recommended.
Jordan CraigJordan Craig
20:45 05 Aug 21
Training at Nxtep during Covid was tricky but Chris and Luca made it work! Started with training outdoors in the carpark before we were allowed to move indoors, it was always fun and I feel I made real progress.It never felt just like a business and always felt more caring, I was also doing it as part of my DofE to which Luca/Chris were very helpful with.I've had to stop due to other focuses in life but I've got some real fond memories of the time and am hoping to go back later if I can!
ryan unwinryan unwin
20:29 28 Jul 21
Great personal trainer, his sessions are great and really push you into great mindset to achieve your goals, great knowledge of the body aswell! Would definitely recommend!!
David VDavid V
17:54 22 Oct 20
Wanted to improve all round fitness especially strength and conditioning so contacted & met with Chris.....was very impressed with his approach and was motivated to getting started & looking forward to the challengeChris was fundamental to me in making the nutrition and exercise changes required to achieve goals.... inspiring, motivational, encouraging & supportive he is great to work with......regular tracking & updates help me to stay focused..... Chris is easy to get along with and the sessions are challenging but enjoyable.....

Why Work With A Personal Trainer For Running?

Working with a personal trainer can improve your running experience in many ways. A personal trainer can provide motivation, advice and guidance on technique and form, and help you achieve your goals. They can also monitor your progress and offer encouragement along the way.

Here are some reasons why using a personal trainer would benefit you while you run:

Motivation – Having someone who knows exactly what you want to achieve and has been there before can motivate you to keep going.

Advice & Guidance – Your personal trainer can give you advice and guidance on how to run correctly and safely.

Technique & Form – Your personal trainer can teach you correct running techniques and help you develop a strong foundation.

Progress Monitoring – Your personal trainer can track your progress over time and ensure you’re making steady gains.

Encouragement – Your personal trainer can encourage you throughout your journey and celebrate your successes.

Injury Avoidance – Many runners suffer from overuse injuries such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendinosis. These injuries occur when the muscles and ligaments supporting your feet become too tight. By stretching those areas before and after workouts, you improve the chances of injury prevention.


Working On Gait And Form

To improve your running, we must first determine what type of athlete you are. Do you have an injury? Are you just starting out? Or do you have experience and know exactly what you’re doing? Once you’ve determined your level of expertise, you can then work towards improving your overall performance.

One of the best ways to improve your running is to focus on your body mechanics, known as gait and form.

If your coach notices that you tend to fall onto your heels when running, they could suggest that you try to change your gait so that you run on your midfoot instead. A second important factor to consider is your step length, which your coach would analyse and try to improve, and which you may find increases your pace. Lastly, we will ensure that your posture remains good during your runs.

For instance, if you’re one of the many runners who has overdeveloped quads but weak glutes and hamstrings, your trainer can show you exercises to strengthen them. More important than anything else, though, he or she can watch your form and give you feedback so you know when you’re doing things correctly.

Sometimes muscular imbalances don’t result from a weakness in muscle strength but rather from a weakness in flexibility. In these cases, the personal trainer can help you learn proper stretching techniques. After your muscles are fully recovered, they will function better than before.

Improvements to running technique may also include changes to the way the arms move during the swing phase of the gait cycle. These changes may involve making adjustments to the path the arms follow as they swing from side to side, as an improved arm swing can add power to your stride.

For runners, greater strength, improved flexibility, better form, and faster running time combine to improve performance.


Should Runners Do Strength Training?

Yes, but not all the time. While strength training is important, it doesn’t necessarily need to happen every day. For instance, I recommend doing strength training twice per week. One session should focus on upper body strength training, such as bench presses, shoulder press, rows, curls, and triceps extensions. The second session should focus on lower body strength training, such a squat, deadlifts, lunges, and leg press.

How Strength Training Helps Runners

Running-specific strength training, including resistance training and weight lifting helps to develop muscle strength, power, size and endurance – all important for giving you that extra bit of explosive pace off the line, and to keep muscles from fatiguing early in a run or race.

Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, weight machines, or even simply your body weight may be utilised as a kind of resistance during a strength training session as long as it places some sort of strain on the working muscles.


What Does Runner’s Strength Training Involve?

For runners, concentrate on lifting rather than increasing your heart rate. The key is not to overdo the cardio, as you’ll already be getting plenty of that from the running. Instead, concentrate on building power and strength. Concentrate on using moderately heavy weights for a modest number of reps, fully recovering between sets. You can do weightlifting exercises at home or at the gym, or if you’d like regular guidance, motivation, clear goals, measurement and a bespoke diet plan for improving as a runner, you may benefit from a personal trainer for running programme, as we offer at Nxtep.

Focus on exercising your complete body; you’ll receive the greatest benefit if you emphasise compound exercises, which include movements like squats, rows, and deadlifts, rather than isolation exercises, which only involve one joint and one main muscle area, like biceps curls for example. The objective is to get used to shifting your weight in different planes while developing your strength proficiency and body awareness, which will improve your balance, movement, and running pace.

How Much Strength Training Do Runners Need To Do?

Fortunately not that much. The majority of instructors advise two or three sessions each week. However, even one 20-30 minute strength training session each week would be useful in increasing and then maintaining strength if you are truly pressed for time. The important factor is the degree of resistance; you must choose a weight at which you can do no more than six repetitions. Try to keep the average break between workouts to no more than 30 seconds.


Building A Bespoke Training Plan For You

At Nxtep, we will develop a personalised training plan just for you, your fitness levels and your goals as a runner.

Different than a generic workout program you may see online, a personalized workout program takes into account your specific physical abilities and your personal lifestyle. It includes specific exercises to improve your overall fitness and muscle balance. It can also be adjusted as needed throughout the duration of the program.

If you lead a busy lifestyle or if you find getting out for a run as often isn’t easy during the colder months, having an expert coach who can give you advice about whether you need to miss a day of exercise altogether or how to make up for lost time is comforting.

A good personal trainer will understand the concept of periodization, which means your training schedule will be structured so that your body can safely improve and recover from exercise without risking injury. Periodization also reduces your risk of injury, and as you probably know, when preparing to run a race, the best way to get yourself ready is by staying healthy and fit.


Can A Personal Trainer Help Me Train For Marathons?

Marathon running requires a lot of time and dedication. To get ready for a marathon, you need to build up your aerobic capacity, strength, and speed. Aerobic capacity is the amount of oxygen your body uses during exercise. Strength is the ability to lift heavy weights. Speed is the rate at which your muscles move. All three of these things must work together if you want to run a successful marathon.

You can improve all three aspects of fitness by using a personal trainer. A personal trainer has experience with each aspect of fitness, and they can guide you toward the right combination of exercises to achieve your goals.

When you’re preparing for a marathon, it’s important to eat enough carbs during the week leading up to race day. But how much do you really need? Here are some guidelines based on what we know about carbohydrate metabolism.

What’s A Good Diet For Marathon Training?

The amount of glycogen stored in muscles determines the maximum distance you can run. As long as there is glucose circulating in your bloodstream, you’ll be able to keep running. So if you want to run longer distances, make sure you consume plenty of high-glycaemic foods like white bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit juice, candy bars, cookies, donuts, muffins, etc., throughout the week. These foods break down quickly into simple sugars, which provide fuel for working muscles.

If you’re planning to run a half marathon or shorter, you don’t need to worry too much about carb intake. Your body stores sufficient amounts of glycogen to maintain energy levels while you exercise. However, if you plan to run a full marathon, you’ll probably need to add extra carbs to your daily diet.

You might think that consuming lots of protein and fat will help build muscle mass and improve endurance performance. This isn’t necessarily true. Muscle tissue uses glucose just like other tissues, including the brain. So eating large amounts of protein won’t change your ability to use it. In fact, studies show that athletes who ate more protein burned fewer calories per hour compared to those who consumed less protein.

In addition, research indicates that people who consume more protein tend to lose weight faster than those who consume less. You don’t need to cut out meat completely; just reduce the portion size and limit the frequency with which you eat red meat.

At Nxtep, we provide a bespoke diet plan especially for you and your goals as a runner, so you don’t need to worry about what to eat – you simply follow your plan, and the results will follow.

Quick Enquiry

Have a question? Ask us anything here.