Q&A with leading personal trainer Matt Roberts who gives advice on winter running

How can runners maintain motivation when training through the cold and dark winter months?

Find your deep reason for running. Dig a little bit deeper than some of the more superficial reasons like weight loss or general fitness. Ask yourself why losing weight or being fitter is important to you.

Once you’ve found a deeper reason why, write it down and stick it somewhere so you will see every day. This little daily nudge should help to keep you motivated.

What’s your top tip for an event novice who has just signed up for their first race?

Find a good novice running programme and stick to it. Adherence to a training schedule will be one of the defining factors in your performance on race day and how well you recover afterwards.

Would you recommend adding strength workouts to running training and how might you schedule these?

Yes, I most certainly would. It’s hard to talk specifics because it depends on many different variables for each individual but in general one or two full body strength sessions a week should be included.

What’s the most effective training method for increasing running speed?

It’s hard to generalise here as there could be a number of variables limiting an individual’s running speed. For example, it could be running mechanics, it could be power production, it could even be breathing mechanics.

The key is to establish the limiting factor and work on improving that.

What are your winter running kit essentials?

Compression tops and bottoms that sit well under your usual running kit are great for the winter as they keep you warm without making you feel restricted. I would also recommend wearing a beanie or head band as well as high visibility kit such as the dhb reflective run jacket.

Are there any new fitness trends we should be looking out for in 2017?

The accuracy, usability and wearability of fitness technology is improving year on year. I think there will be more devices utilising things like heart rate variability, which can help guide how hard you should train on a particular day.

» The dhb run reflective jacket is available from www.wiggle.co.uk for £45