Join the Irish Life Health Mile Challenge!

Join the Irish Life Health Mile Challenge!

Lockdown has made Ireland a nation of runners with an extra 250,000 lacing up and running on paths, parks, and trails.

Irish Life Health and Athletics Ireland have teamed up to bring a new challenge to all those 650,000 regular and new runners.

Sign up today

When is it?

The weeklong challenge and celebration of athletics will start on Monday the 17th August, and finish on Sunday the 23rd of August

How do I get involved?


Runners of all abilities and families, can sign up free of charge at Runners simply need to find a flat bit of ground, run their virtual mile, and submit their race on-line with proof of time and distance. A four-week online training programme for beginners, intermediate and advanced will be able on this page.

Can I win anything?


For athletics club nationwide as well as contributing to their counties mileage there is €1,000 in total, on offer for the fastest 4x1 mile relay, male and female. Athletics Clubs could also be in with a chance to win part of a €2,000 equipment bursary, with €500 on offer for each province, by downloading and signing up to Irish Life’s personalised health and wellbeing app, MyLife.

Four Week Training Plans

Four Week Training Plans

We have a 4 week training plan for all levels and abilities, whether you are a complete beginner, have been running  for a little while or you’re a trying to run as fast as an Olympian!

Tips for running the mile

Training plan video

Run your first ever Mile (Beginner)

Developed by Athletics Ireland Regional Development Office Grace Lynch

This training schedule is aimed at the beginner. You should have some base aerobic work already completed. For example, some walking/ jogging at an easy pace. The aim of this programme is to improve your aerobic fitness to help you achieve a time for the one-mile distance. To access the training schedule click here.

Prior to commencing the programme, you should visit your GP for a health check to ensure you are healthy and injury free and ready to begin your 5-day running plan. If at any point during the programme you are unwell or have any injury issues, you should visit your GP/ physiotherapist. With any new training program, you may experience muscular fatigue and muscles soreness as the body adapts to the new load. We would recommend completing some supplementary work to keep yourself injury free. This should include some core and strength work, good recovery protocols, good nutrition, mobility and stretching.

Warm up - I would recommend 5 mins of drills and activation exercises before you run. Some examples can be found here.

Run 1 Mile in Under 9 Minutes (Intermediate)

Developed by Athletics Ireland Regional Development Officer Conor Wilson

The intermediate programme is aimed at those who have already been running for some time and our looking to improve. Aiming to run a mile in under 9 minutes requires a certain base level of fitness. To access the training schedule click here.

When taking on the programme, it is important to listen to your body and hold back when necessary. It is normal when training to experience some muscle soreness but if problems don’t alleviate stop exercising and consult a GP or physiotherapist. There are a few things that you can do to help improve your running and prevent injuries occurring such as regular stretching, core work and strengthening exercises.

Here are some tips to help you along your way:

  • Always make sure to warm up thoroughly before every session
  • Aim to run tall with a high knee lift
  • Arms should drive forward and back not across the body
  • Every run isn’t a race, so make sure to pace yourself
  • Keep well hydrated before, during and after your runs
  • Do a proper cool down after each session

Run 1 Mile in Under 7 Minutes (Advanced)

Developed by Olympian and Irish 800m Record Holder David Matthews

This training is for the mile runner hoping to break 7 minutes, so there is a significant level of base level fitness required. To access the training schedule click here.

You should do supplementary work to keep yourself injury free. This includes stretching, massage and strengthening exercises. Look for tips on the Athletics Ireland website.

Some advice before you get started:

  • Keep Stretching – Consistency is key
  • Don’t forget about your longer distance runs
  • Give yourself time – The more time you give the better you’ll get
  • Vary your training and don’t avoid the gym!