3 Inner-City Manchester Training Routes

Womens Running Christmas

To enter the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, click here.

We’ve all got busy lives and we don’t want our training for the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run to suffer. Don’t worry though, Still Waters Run Deep have got your back. Here are three handy go-to Inner-city training routes that we regularly use when we are short on time for planning.

1. ‘Beat The Tram’ (Deansgate Tram Station to Sale Metrolink Station = 10 Miles

Run along Deansgate and jump on the tow path at Castlefield. Follow the Bridgewater Canal to Sale Metro stop.

Within minutes of joining the tow path you’ll be far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Forget stopping for cars or dodging shoppers on Market Street, you’ll have miles upon miles of hassle-free flat routes. It’s a perfect traffic free training spot, so there will only be other runners and cyclists to navigate around.

It’s an out and back route. You can go for as long or as short as you like. Bear in mind you need to run home too though, so don’t go too far out and regret it later.

Feeling tired? Think about the thousands of hours that workers in the 1760s spent digging the canal. Sheesh.

For some added motivation, leave the station at the same time as a tram and try and race it along the course. Just remember that the tram is meant to stop, not you!
And, don’t forget to say “Hey!” to the narrow boat captains.

2. “Loops” (10km look of the city)

This is our take on New York’s Five boroughs. Start in Collyhurst (the NQ for you trendy kids), head through Ancoats, round over University Place, straight into Hulme. From there, dash through Salford on your way back to the Northern Quarter.

This makes up a perfect loop of the city which all in all is around 10km. Perfect for when you need to get a shorter run in pre or post work.

3. “Hills” (8km including the suggested reps, 4km as a straight loop).

Undisputed favourite with the SWRD crew. When the call goes up for some hills, you know you’re in for some work.

Start at Victoria Station, wind yourself through the Co-Op Quarter and arrive at the foot of Gould Street. This 300m ‘hill’ is ideal to get some power into your legs. It kicks up at three different points so make sure you don’t go out too quick.

Repeat at your leisure, but we recommend around three reps.

Once you’ve summited Gould St for the last time (don’t stop in the pub, we are watching), take a gentle run through Ancoats and navigate yourself to Jutland Street at the back of Piccadilly. A firm favourite with fellow runners, boxing clubs and football teams, this is ideal for sprint training on a sharp incline and you’ll rarely be training here alone.

Take a breath at the foot of Jutland, sprint up the left-hand side and walk down the right. We are saying 10 reps, what are you saying?

Check your legs for any damage, and then take the run back down through the Northern Quarter and Shudehill, arriving back at Victoria Station.

I’m not sweating, you are.


These routes have a little bit of everything for your training – distance, speed & hills.

We are always on the lookout for new routes in the city to add to our Still Water’s bank, so get in touch with any you think we are missing out on.

All the best with the remainder of your training and we’ll see you out on the course.


*Header image: Liam Walsh

To enter the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, click here.

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