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How Do I Recover after an Ironman? | Brian Mackenzie Shares his Ironman Recovery Tips

You may have finished an Ironman but you’re not quite done yet. Going from a 2.4 mile swim to a 112-mile bike ride to a 26.2 run creates a lot of damage in the body. To stay healthy and allow your body to rebuild, recovery should be the focus post-Ironman.

Once you’re adequately hydrated and nourished, Brian Mackenzie recommends following this protocol that addresses common areas Ironman athletes need help recovering post-race. If you have muscle groups that are more sore or fatigued, Brian suggests starting with those areas before following his Ironman recovery protocol. For demonstration purposes, in the pictures below Brian places pads over the clothes, but when using Marc Pro pads should always be placed directly on clean, dry skin.

ironman recoveryIronman Recovery Routine Using Marc Pro

Ironman Swim Recovery

Suggested Intensity Level: 7-9

To recover from the swim event, Brian suggests targeting the upper back and shoulder area. With one lead wire, place pads on the lower end of the right trap and the right lat. Do the same with the other lead wire for the left trap and left lat.

ironman recoveryIronman Bike Recovery

Suggested Intensity Level: 7-9

While riding, most of us don’t keep our spine neutral for the entire time. This means that our back muscles are flexed and become overactive. Sitting in the bike position can also cause hip flexors to get overactive and tight. When you get off the bike and start running, your body may have trouble opening back up and running with good form. Often times, this is where athletes overextend their back to compensate and end up putting even more stress on the low back. To recover from the bike component, Brian Mackenzie recommends placing the pads on the following areas:

  • Multifidus: These are the muscles that run along the spine. Place one pad on the left side of the spine and the other on the right using one channel.
  • Glutes: A good way to determine where to place the pad on the glutes is by thinking about your jean pockets. Brian suggests placing the pads from the other channel at the top of where your jean pockets would be.ironman recovery

Once the placement is set, Brian recommends using Marc Pro here for a while before crisscrossing the channels  (ie. switching pads so Channel A has pads on the right multifidus and left glute, Channel B has pads on the left multifidus and right glute). This will help create a cross sectional pulse and mitigate a lot of issues that are going on in the low back.

Ironman Run Recovery

Suggested Intensity Level: 7-9

After completing the equivalent of a marathon, your legs are going to need some recovery. Brian recommends doing a whole leg flush. Complete one leg at a time and place one pad on the following areas:

  • Gluteus medius: Note- optimal placement is about 1-2 inches below the top of the hip bone
  • Quadricep
  • Calf
  • Arch of foot

Brian Mackenzie knows from personal experience how damaging endurance events can be, which is why he recommends and uses Marc Pro to help athletes recover. Following Brian’s protocol can drastically help with your Ironman recovery. Keep in mind that since Marc Pro is non-fatiguing you can use the device for as long as you need. Many athletes use Marc Pro for hours on end to ensure their body is recovered after intense activity. In fact, both Heather Jackson and Andy Potts will sleep with their Marc Pro on after racing and training.


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