Team Barr launch Irish Life Health ‘Runuary’


Jessie and Thomas Barr, the Olympic siblings, today launched the Irish Life Health 'Runuary' programme to support runners, of all levels to run January and not let it run them. With the uncertainty of the last few months, many of us have turned to running to relieve stress, clear our head and to feel more in control. Irish Life Health have developed Runuary in conjunction with Athletics Ireland to support runners to continue their running routine and to have a positive and healthy start to 2021. Starting on January 1st, it encourages runners, from beginners to the more experienced, to commit to challenging but realistic running programmes, with a target distance to be completed on January 31st.

Jessie Barr who in recent years has switched from competing on the track to supporting some of Ireland's leading Olympic hopefuls as a performance sports psychologist, is backing the campaign: “While we can't remove many of the unknowns from our lives at the moment, we can add some sense of certainty through our daily actions. Having a weekly running routine can provide stability. It can help us feel more at ease by enabling us to regain some control of our lives”.

Jessie added: "Human behaviour though is complex and there is a lot of behavioural science behind why sticking to our resolutions is so difficult! Having the "best of intentions" is great, but that alone is not enough to sustain a behaviour over time. To empower those who sign up for the programme, they will be supplied with a four-week training programme with videos and hints to help them along their journey. This will help them unlock their inner drive and keep them on track not only in January but beyond because running is a great activity for life, not just for lockdown.”

Jessie is part of the specialist team along with a physiotherapist, nutritionist and Athletics Ireland qualified running coaches who will support runners  when they sign up to the programme and offer the expertise needed to keep them moving through their miles.

Irish Life Health ambassador, Thomas Barr is also supporting the campaign: "Like so many others, I had to reset my expectations in 2020 after the cancellation of the Olympic Games. Starting into a New Year always gives me a fresh sense of optimism. 2021 still has plenty of unknowns and uncertainties, but I can only focus on what I can control. That is what I really like about the Irish Life Health 'Runuary' programme, it gives runners the choice to select a programme that suits their ability and works with the time commitment that they have available.”   

There are programme options available for training three, four or five days a week building up to completing a selected targeted distance on Sunday, January 31st. 

Entry is free of charge with the option to purchase a Runuary long sleeve t-shirt and/or a bobble hat. You can register for Runuary here.

Liz Rowen, Head of Marketing, Irish Life Health said: "The Irish Life Health Runuary programme is just one of a number of ways we’re supporting people to embrace a healthier lifestyle overall. Running has been such a great stress reliever for so many people this year. So, we’re delighted at Irish Life Health to continue to support the entire running community around Ireland and help them have a positive start to a healthier 2021 with Runuary.”

Hamish Adams, Athletics Ireland CEO said: “We are delighted to be rolling out this Runuary programme with Irish Life Health who have continued to support athletics in Ireland throughout the challenging year that has been 2020. The past eight months have highlighted the importance of us all being physically active for both mind and body. This programme offers our members and the wider running public the perfect opportunity to get 2021 started on the right foot.”

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