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Covid-19: Running 160km in 1 day for the caregivers.

160km, in 22 hours and 49 minutes. No, you are not dreaming, this is the ultra marathon that Nicolas Danne, of French origin and Quebecer at heart, completed in his Montreal neighborhood, Villeray, on Saturday, March 24, 2020.

Like many endurance athletes at the moment, Nicolas has seen all his spring and summer races cancelled. Far from being discouraged, he wanted to take on a new challenge over an ultra distance to support a cause that is close to his heart.

Indeed, more than a personal feat, it is above all an act of great generosity. What could be better than wanting to help the healthcare personnel who are fighting every day against the current pandemic?

Thanks to his incredible performance and the solidarity that Nicolas managed to create, $4,366 has been raised to date for a goal of $5,000. If you wish to participate, it is still possible by making a donation here :

The whole Näak team is very proud to collaborate with Nicolas. Below, he gives you all his advice on hydration and nutrition during an ultra marathon based on his experience.

Näak : Where did the idea to do this challenge come from and what motivated you?

Nicolas Danne : The idea came to me when I saw the feat achieved by David Kilgore, an ON athlete from the US. Having all my family in France working in the medical field and relatives here, I wanted to help in my own way. To combine my passion for running with helping others in the medical field.

Näak : What was your preparation, your training?

Nicolas Danne : My training is daily I run an average of 80-120km per week, all that with the addition of cycling to cross training. The last week I ran very little to reserve energy for Saturday's big adventure!

Näak : What did you eat the week before your race?

Nicolas Danne : The week before the race, I was careful not to eat anything fried or too fatty. A lot of fruits and vegetables from 7 days to 4 days before and then I load up on pasta, rice, quinoa.

Näak : What did you eat on your run?

Nicolas Danne : During my run, I try to eat every 30 minutes at 300 calories per hour. Saturday it was hot, so I had to be careful with the salt intake as well. So I took a lot of salt capsules in the morning to anticipate the afternoon. Then it was Naak bars, pretzels, fruit compotes, because I'm still a big fan of semi-liquid when the race becomes long and the body had trouble eating. In the evening it was hot soup with salt to keep me warm.

Learn more on nutrition and sport in our article here!

Nicola Danne ultra marathon Montreal

"In ultramarathons, it's the head that takes precedence over the body. If the head won't, the body won't follow." Nicolas Danne

Näak : What did you eat after your run?

Nicolas Danne : After the race, I took a sea salt Näak bar and Lipton soup to stock up on salt before going to sleep!

Näak : How did you manage your hydration during your run?

Nicolas Danne :Drink every 15 minutes, really you have to be careful with that, especially in the heat. I always had a 250 ML flask with me, and in the last 30 km, a friend had another 500 ML for me because I was always thirsty. It was still snowing on Tuesday of last week!
Learn more in our article about hydratation and electrolytes here!

Näak : How do you feel now? What is your recovery going to look like?

Nicolas Danne : I feel very tired, I have residual pain right and left, but in general I'm fine, I walk well, my feet just hurt...and big downs during the day at times a bit weird.
My recovery is going to be like a running rest for 2 weeks, I might ride my bike a little bit, but 0 intensity. Baths, massages with an electro-stimulation device, rolling myself. All our races are cancelled, so no rush and jeopardize the rest of the year.

Näak : Do you have any advice for those who want to start running?

Nicolas Danne : First of all, you have to be well equipped. During this pandemic, we could notice a lot of new riders who were not well equipped. An adapted pair of shoes will give you a lot of fun and will also prevent you from getting injured.
Then you have to start gradually. There are many running plans that alternate running and walking at the start to get your body used to taking the impact. It would be a mistake to start a 10km run right away!
And lastly, listen to your body! If your body is tired, rest! If your training plan says "go for a run", you can also alternate it with cycling, or yoga!

If you want to benefit from the Näak products that Nicolas used during his ultra race, it's this way!

Nicolas Danne ultra marathon for caregivers

"I don't realize it yet. I'm not someone who likes the light, so I was even a little embarrassed to have so many messages and support. But I'm very proud to have done it and especially for this cause." Nicolas Danne

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