Blog 27th December 2016

27th December 2016 - Uswim Karen


I hope this little inspiring testimonial might help motivate and inspire some of you – especially those of you who see running as their weakness or an unachievable goal.


For those of you that have swam with Uswim at Salford Quays or Boundary Park, then I’m pretty sure you will have bumped into “Uswim Karen” - Uswim team leader, swim coach and event co-organiser and most of all, open water swimming mentalist.


This is what she has to say:


“14 weeks ago I decided to start running and set myself a target of a 5 km. I have dipped my toe in running a couple of times but never stuck at it and much prefer dipping my toe in openwater instead. I always felt like a heavy weight and experienced aches and niggles that I took as signs to give up, after all that’s easier that keeping at it. Following a spinal condition called Cauda Equina Syndrome in 2010 I had to have emergency surgery and have been rehabilitating ever since. I was always warned against running and many other sports, but after working with a great physio I have learnt that I can do more. I had casually spoken to Pat about running and he gave me some advice about how to start. Aware of my condition Pat advised me to invest in a pair of Hokas too as one of the first positive steps for starting. This I did, and noticed a huge difference immediately. The surgery has left me with a volatile nerve system in my back, and a right leg that I don’t have complete awareness off due to nerve damage. The back stiffens, the leg spasms and cramps. A vicious cycle but one I have not had to endure thanks to the Hokas.


I have followed Pats programme to the letter and have now found myself enjoying running. I never ever thought I would say this and actually mean it, but I genuinely do. Pats encouraging, positive and professional approach I can honestly say has made all the difference. He is a fantastic motivator and Coach. I am usually jumping into Lochs and Lakes to get my adrenaline rushes but have recently completed 2 x 10km runs and got the same buzz and did my first parkrun recently. Pat has made me realise that following a structured programmed, wearing the right gear and believing in yourself is the perfect recipe for achieving your goals.

Thanks Pat.”


A true inspiration to all.


If you want to know anything more about about Uswim – you can read about them here:




Hopefully see you in Salford Quays at some point,


Coach Pat.