A FORMER Royal Marine is offering members of the public the chance to build their fitness to Commando level when he opens his own personal training business in Nailsworth.

After 12 years in the Royal Navy, Luke Stewart, 34, is officially leaving the service at the start of June to set up Stewart Estate Training, based at Ringfield Farm off Tetbury Lane.

Luke, who was born and brought up in Nailsworth, says: “I was a Royal Marine for seven-and-a-half years, then a physical trainer in the Navy, responsible for group training of personnel. I’ve just started running group fitness classes three times a week at the Nailsworth Recreation Centre, and I’m aiming for the personal training side to cover all aspects of fitness.”

Keeping fit is a way of life for the former serviceman, and these days he’s focusing on running as a way to maintain fitness. He says: “I’m an affiliated coach with Vivobarefoot, who have developed a new back-to-basics way of running, and that’s worked hugely for me. They’re sponsoring me in the Stroud Trail Marathon, which takes place on Sunday May 11, covering the full marathon distance around the Stroud area, and I’ll be working with them in my business.”

It’s not the first time Luke’s entered a long-distance event. He says: “I ran the London Marathon in 2010, finishing in three hours 25 minutes, but I think the Stroud race will take me longer – it’s got two massive hill climbs for a start, so the terrain is a bit different to London.”

He adds: “I’ve been barefoot running for less than 12 months (you still wear shoes, but they’re very different to the traditional padded running shoe) and it’s made a huge difference to me. It’s all about running on the fore foot, rather than striking the ground heel first, so that it becomes a non-impact sport, and that’s another aspect I’ll be focusing on in personal training.”

For more details of Luke’s new business visit his website at www.stewartestatetraining.com.