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Kim's Recovery Journey

We are continuing the theme of inspirational women throughout this month as we just couldn’t fit it all into one week, let alone one day. And there really are so many amazing stories that we feel need telling to showcase and recognise the amazing women who we are honoured to have in our U Perform family.

Today we are talking about Kim Loney aka @theultrarunningmum

The keen eyed among you may have spotted her before across our social media channels but for those of you who are new to the U Perform family... meet Kim! An ultra-runner, who in May 2020 suffered a horrific accident whilst out running. This is her injury recovery journey…

 

Kim is first and foremost a mum to 3 girls- a feisty 8-year-old and twin 5 year olds so they certainly keep her on her toes! However, when Kim is not ‘mumming’, I play at being a competitive ultra-runner!

You will likely find Kim out and about running long roads, trails, mountains, deserts - any terrain or climate really - or in the gym working on strength & conditioning to help keep the body strong enough to deal with the demands of running ultra-distances.

Over the past 4 years, Kim has competed and podiumed in distances ranging from 50 km to 140 km, in the UK and internationally. And after a decade of living in the UAE, running in the heat and desert are her absolute favourite conditions. The hotter the better!!! Better you than me!

Professionally, coupled with a 1st Class BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science (University of Bath, UK), Kim has combined her world class expertise in exercise physiology and nutrition, with a keen interest in improving athlete recovery. Kim now runs her very own private sports massage clinic.

 

Kim’s journey with us began back in June last year, following a life changing and very serious accident.

At the end of May, Kim was knocked over by a motorbike whilst out on a long training run and suffered multiple major trauma injuries. These included a skull fracture, 12 broken ribs, a punctured lung, fractured clavicle and both her hip and pelvis were fractured in 3 different places.

This was as life changing as it was traumatic. Put simply, Kim was told in the immediate days following the accident that endurance sport and running any distance, let alone ultra-distances might never be possible again!

Left devastated, Kim immediately took up the challenge. A monumental one for sure, but in Kim’s own words she absolutely loves a challenge. It was like the surgeons had set down the gauntlet and she had no intention of giving up.

Following a long surgery, and a 2 week stay on the major trauma unit, Kim was released from hospital, barley able to walk even with the aid of crutches. From this point on, Kim has been laser focused on recovering and rehabbing her way back to ultra-running!

Whilst still a long way off running consistently and pain free, in the first 6 months Kim progressed from being bed bound and in agony when completing even the most basic of daily tasks, to being fully mobile and able to work on her fitness, endurance and strength again. Only this time, using indoor cycling and the power of an online platform called Zwift.

The progress since then has been nothing short of phenomenal in a relatively short period of time. Because of the accident, Kim’s running goals were temporarily put on hold whilst she focused on recovering. It’s only until much later on down the line after an accident this serious where you start to get a real idea of how a reconstructed and almost bionic hip will respond to introducing running again.

 And it is on this journey, that Kim discovered U Perform and like so many others, began her very own collagen journey!

Having studied Sports & Exercise Science at university and having competed in ultra-running events for the last 4 years, it goes without saying that Kim is incredibly particular when it comes to sports nutrition supplements. Here’s what Kim had to say about her U Perform story so far…

“When I discovered the U Perform brand, it was instantly clear that the products have been developed from science-led, evidence-based research. I was also aware of Prof. Greg Whyte OBE and his extensive background in human performance and exercise physiology and so I reached out to the team and it was absolutely the best decision I could have made in helping my recovery.

I started using several of the products in the very early stages of my recovery (I’m a big fan of the active collagen gels and the protein powders!) and have used them religiously throughout. So far, I have surpassed all doctors’ expectations, as well as my own, and so I am definitely sticking with the brand.

I am proud to be an ambassador for such a great company! Not only do I see and feel the benefits of using the supplements for aiding my injury recovery, but I also recognise the improvements in my body's general recovery from the cycling and strength training that I am putting in daily and that’s really important to me.”

We are so lucky to have Kim as part of the U Perform family and she continues to be an inspiration to us all…

Bringing things up to date, we are thrilled to say that Kim is remaining positive and focusing on her rehab and nutrition in order to make her return to running as seamless as possible. With the long term goal to complete a 7 day self-supported, multi-day ultra-running race!!! Incredible.

We caught up with Kim to see how she is getting on 10 months after the accident: 

"It is coming up to 10 months since my accident and whilst I can’t believe the speed at which the one year anniversary is rapidly approaching, I also, at times feel like the last few months have been creeping by at a snail’s pace. Perhaps that is thanks to lockdown life, which has been tough for us all, or maybe it has been the slowing down in improvements in how my body is feeling?
In the earlier stages of my recovery, nearly every day saw leaps in improvements; going from being bed bound and unable to do any task independently, to re learning to walk, building up the strength in my shoulder so that I could brush my own hair or get myself in and out of the bath and even being able to breathe, cough and sneeze with more ease all became huge accomplishments.

However, as the months have passed, these improvements have become much less obvious and sometimes it feels like nothing is moving forwards, which can feel frustrating. But I have to remind myself that my body is continually getting stronger.

It is just more ‘behind the scenes’ than the original bold and obvious gains. It may not be the grand and impressive achievements of the early days, but each day that passes means I can stand on one leg to put my socks on with slightly less pain in my hip, cleaning the house causes a little less soreness and I can run for a little longer or a little bit further and whilst the pain in my hip persists all day, everyday, it is manageable.

And I am confident that my continued focus on rehab in the gym, my strength and conditioning sessions and of course, my daily U Perform supplement regime are all helping this progress! I’m even starting to get excited about possibly being able to begin to push my body a little bit more sometime in the coming months! Bring it on!!!"

 

Thanks for checking out our blog! We hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to go and find Kim on social media to follow her journey and to see how she is getting on.

Instagram | Website

Tune in to the blog next time for an in-depth guide to sports injuries, injury prevention and everything else in-between.

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