Getting to Know Our New Marc Pro Ambassador: Heather Jackson

heather jackson

Earlier this year, Marc Pro formalized a partnership with Pro Triathlete Heather Jackson and we’re thrilled to have her as part of the Marc Pro family. Having placed 5th at the 2015 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Heather is an accomplished triathlete who also holds the 2015 Ironman Coeur D’Alene and 2015 Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Champion titles. For the remainder of 2016, Heather is prepping for the U.S. National Championships this weekend (May 7th) and other Ironman races. We filmed some fun videos with Heather and got personal with a few questions about her lifestyle, favorite meals, and things she enjoys when she is not swimming, biking, or running.

1. How did you get started in triathlons?

I got into triathlon via my parents. I was still in college playing ice hockey and when I was home for the summer before my senior year, I joined my parents who were signed up for one of the local triathlons. We started with a 12-mile mountain bike to a lake, swam across the lake, and then had a 3 mile run up the front of a ski mountain. This was in my home state of New Hampshire. It was an absolute blast and I was hooked immediately. I still had a year left of school and playing ice hockey, but got into the sport more seriously the couple of years following graduation.

2. What are your favorite types of workouts?

My favorite types of workouts are my bike or run workouts that involve what are usually considered “VO2 effort” type sessions. This means a bike workout with short, super hard, all-out type efforts. For example, a 2 hour ride with 8 efforts in it of anything from 2 to 4 minute (sometimes 5 minutes) long efforts. These are all-out, all-that-you-have sort of sessions. They hurt so bad but I love the mental challenge of getting through the pain, and pushing as hard as I can for those few minutes. I’m not a fan of the longer days, for instance, my 5 hour rides with 20 or 30 minute interval efforts. I just get super bored and it’s a different sort of longer, sustained, uncomfortable effort level than the black and white “all out” required of the short intense sessions.

3. Do you feel more confident in one element of the triathlon versus the others (swim, bike, or run)?

My confidence in triathlon seems to flip flop between my bike and run, depending on what sort of training block focus I happen to be in. Those two disciplines are my favorite and I’m constantly trying to push my capability in each. My swim continues to be a work in progress.

4. What is your favorite meal to cook before a big workout or race?

My favorite meal is a rib eye steak with a sweet potato and a big salad. We eat this 2-3x a week probably. I don’t necessarily eat this the night before a race, but usually two nights out (of the week).

5. Do you have a race memory that carries you through tough workouts?

I don’t have one specific race memory I use in tough workouts, but I definitely use mental imagery of whatever race I’m training for. For instance, in my lead up to Kona last year during all my hill repeat run sessions, I would picture running up Palani Drive over and over again. Or during my bike sessions, I would picture climbing towards Hawi during every bike hill climb.

heather jackson6. What do you do during your free time?

During the season, my free time is usually occupied with sleep. I’m a huge napper! If I sit down on the couch after a hard training session, I usually nod off quite easily. My free time in the off-season is usually spent on Mt. Bachelor snowboarding, at one of the many pubs in Bend, mountain biking on the trails, or camping.

7. How do you incorporate the Marc Pro into your training routine?

I use my Marc Pro every single day in between sessions, after sessions, and before sessions. I think it’s incredible at keeping the muscles loose and relaxed and ready to go. After a training day ends, usually around 4 or 5pm, I’m on the couch with my Marc Pro on my quads and calves before dinner. After dinner, I have it back on again for the few hours before we go to sleep.

8. What are your upcoming races?

My next race is in a week at the US National Championships in St. George, Utah. After that, I will race Escape from Alcatraz, a few more Ironman 70.3 races, and then Ironman Lake Placid mid July. However, my whole season is focused around the Ironman World Champs in Kona in October.

9. If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

I would bring my husband Wattie :) My most favorite pillow! And my Marc Pro!

Follow Heather’s races through the Marc Pro on Twitter! The Marc Pro team wishes Heather the best of luck this weekend at St. George and throughout the rest of 2016!