10 steps to success

Follow these core principles to ensure your primary or nursery school succeeds with The Daily Mile.

Read on below

The Daily Mile is easy to implement and fun to do. All children enjoy it and participate happily. Children with mobility difficulties should be fully supported to take part as well. Here are Elaine’s top ten essentials for getting started with your own Daily Mile.

If you stick to these core principles, you will be successful!


The children have the freedom to run in the fresh air with their friends. They should know that it’s not a competition – many will mix running and walking, particularly at the start.

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It’s fully inclusive – every child, every day. Children with special or complex needs are supported to take part and benefit greatly.


Treat the weather as a benefit not a barrier – children connect with nature and the seasons. Jackets on in the cold and damp; sweatshirt off if it’s warm.


Ideally, your Daily Mile route should have a firm and mud-free surface. It should be around 5–10 laps but it’s okay to have more laps depending on your setting. Incorporating child-pleasing loops and squiggles works well.


Takes place in a 15-minute turnaround from leaving the classroom until returning. No time is spent changing clothes or setting up equipment.


Risk assess your route – there is a sample risk assessment, which can be found here.


Try to go out every day – this makes it easier for the children to maintain their fitness and gain the full benefits.


No kit is required – the children go out in their school clothes. Trainers are ideal but not essential.


The children should own their Daily Mile. They can choose to run, walk or jog – or mix all three – but it’s best if they are encouraged to run as much as possible.


Keep it simple! Resist the temptation to complicate The Daily Mile. Its great strength is its simplicity and this is what makes it so enjoyable and sustainable.

It's fantastic to see initiatives like The Daily Mile be established, showing real leadership from the education sector to improve children's fitness levels, their cognitive behaviour and make a real difference to schools, teachers, parents and young people's lives. We know sitting still kills; not sitting still helps children build skills that will stay with them for life.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson