Frequently Asked Questions


Swim for a Mile Events will take place Nationwide in 2020. Check out the Pool List section of the website for a full list of participating pools. You can find a list of our confirmed events HERE!

The time of the events will vary at each pool, each evening and will be broken into 1 hour time slots. You will be asked to select a time slot on registration.

The Swim a Mile Challenge is open to those aged 12 and over only. However, if your child is capable and would like to swim the challenge with you or a guardian, we are happy to welcome them, but please let us know if this is the case.

The event is for anyone who can swim at least 2 lengths of a 25m pool during a session. The event is not for beginners who require lessons.

Participants will have gained the skill and ability to use the activity as part of a balanced lifestyle and to complete personal goals like swimming a mile.

The Swim

A mile calculated in metres is 1,609m. Our “Swim for a Mile Challenge” will be 1,600 metres. Alternatively, we offer an 800m programme if the Mile is that bit too far for you.

Depending on the pool length:

  • 50m Pool – 32 lengths
  • 25m pool – 64 lengths

Volunteers will be on hand on the day updating participants on their progress.

Unfortunately, we do not have capacity for relays but we have introduced an 800m Swim, the idea of this is that you and a training partner can complete the mile between you.

Yes, you will be allowed to stop and take breaks throughout the 1,600 metres but at the wall only. Swimmers will not be permitted to stop mid pool or along the ropes. The clock will continue to run during any breaks.

Yes; Lane Etiquette is outlined in the programme downloadables and participants should be familiar with it throughout the programme and in the events.

Depending on fitness and ability it could take from 20mins to 1 hour to complete the mile.

There is no time limit; you can take as little time or as long as you want. You will be asked on registration to guestimate a completion time and will be in a lane with others swimming a similar time as you. You will be able to change your time through the registration site up to one week before the event.

You can vary your stroke between frontcrawl and breaststroke throughout the mile, at the start of each length. For health and safety reasons, backstroke or butterfly are NOT allowed.

No, the use of buoyancy aids will not be allowed during the events.

The lanes will be split into fast, medium and slow paced so you are in a lane with others swimming at the same pace as you. You will be also be asked on registration to guestimate a completion time and will be in a lane with others swimming the same time as you.

You will need to bring your usual swim wear which you will be comfortable to complete the challenge in.

You will also need to bring a water bottle to be sure you are kept hydrated during your swim. We will provide each participant with a goodie-bag which will contain a specially designed hat for you to wear in the event.


Registration can be completed by clicking on the “Signup” link on the Swim for a Mile website Homepage. After signing up, you will receive an activation email (check your junk inbox), then you will be able to complete your registration via your SFAM dashboard, by selecting your event venue, time and pay the €30 fee. Please note you can only register online; we will not accept paper entries.

To take part in the challenge the cost will be €30. This is a non-refundable fee. The entry fee covers entry to a single event/timed swim and does not give participants access to swimming pools during the 12 weeks. €3 of each entry will go to our Charity Partner Temple Street Hospital.


You will be able to pay online using any debit or credit cards when you are registering for the challenge.

Coaching Clinics

Several Coaching Clinics will take place in designated centres over the course of Swim for a Mile. Swim Ireland qualified coaches will deliver these to help with technique and answer any questions or problems you are having with the programme. Irish Olympians and International swimmers will carry out coaching clinics across the course of the programme, which will only be open to those who have registered and paid for an event.

To register for the Coaching Clinics, you must be registered for an actual timed event. Once you are registered you will have access to book clinics via your SFAM dashboard. Please note that spaces on these clinics are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates and announcements!

Clinic bookings open on the first Monday of each month (January, February and March only), you will be able to book a clinics from your dashboard.

The Coaching Clinics are free of charge.