Heather Jackson knows triathlons. She has placed 3rd, 4th, and 5th at the Ironman World Championships, is a 4x Wildflower Triathlon Champion, 9x Ironman 70.3 Champion, and 3x Ironman Champion. And when Heather isn’t training, she is recovering. Learn more about Heather’s training and recovery tips below.
How Should I Adjust My Hydration Strategy in the Heat?
“The biggest thing with heat training is to stay on top of your electrolytes- hydrate before you start to feel thirsty. You can also build up your tolerance level with how much training in the direct heat that you can handle. Get out early for training before the heat of the day as the summer starts to get hotter, and then slowly build your time out training in the hottest parts of the day.”
How Should I Get Started in Triathlons?
- Find a local fun event that friends are doing to sign up for. This will give you a solidified goal to work towards and from which you can work backwards from to lay out training.
- Find local training groups with fun people to help guide your training and keep things fun. Local masters swim programs, local run groups and groups who meet to cycle are all great.
- Start training consistently in all three sports but don’t ramp up your volume and intensity too much week to week. Start by developing a base in all three sports and then slowly progress.
What’s a Positive Race Mantra I Can Use?
“When I am struggling in a race or a hard training session, I always think of the mantra, “You GET to do this. Do it for those who can’t.” I have friends or acquaintances who are either sick, or maybe injured, or can’t be training and racing but would give anything to be able to. I think of them if something is hurting because at the end of the day, we GET to do this sport. It’s a privilege and I’m grateful every day that I’m healthy and get to participate.”
How Do You Use Your Marc Pro?
“I use my Marc Pro literally every day. If I’m not training, my Marc Pro is usually on. My most common usage is some combination of the attachment pads on my quads, calves, and/or the bottom of my foot. I will train in the morning- either a hard bike or run and then most likely take a nap with my Marc Pro on. It actually helps to put me to sleep, so I’m really doubling up on recovery.”
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Training for an Ironman requires a lot of time and dedication to bring your body and mind to a place that can maintain a high level of performance. Andy Potts has been training for Ironman races for about 15 years now. He’s completed more than 200 triathlons, has been an Ironman Champion 7 times, and Ironman 70.3 Champion 28 times. Over the years, he’s learned a thing or two about Ironman events and now wants to share his knowledge with you. Here are two quick tips on Ironman training from Andy Potts.
Ironman Training Tips
Tip 1: 70.3 Ironman to a 140.6 Ironman
Transitioning from a half Ironman to a full Ironman is going to be taxing on both your body and mind. Jumping from 70.3 to 140.6 is going to be tough, especially the further into it you get. But, the biggest challenge on race day is going to be mental. Andy Potts recommends staying mentally engaged and letting yourself know that you put in the work and you’ve got this. Be aware of potential obstacles and know how to overcome them. Focus on your breathing techniques and eliminate negative self-talk. Studies have shown that your mental strategy has a huge effect on your athletic performance.
Tip 2: Open Water Swimming
Your first time in the open water can be very disorienting and it takes some time to get accustomed to the environment change. One of the biggest differences between swimming in a pool and swimming in the open water is tempo. Tempo is your stroke rate or how fast you’re turning over your stroke. For example, Andy Potts aims for a right fingertip entry to right fingertip entry of 1.5 seconds. Andy does have long arms though so yours might be faster or slower depending on your size and technique. Training your tempo in a pool will translate over into the open water. However, because the ocean is constantly moving, know that you have to keep a higher tempo in the open water to achieve the same results you would be able to achieve in a pool.
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Maintaining energy throughout an Ironman race isn’t easy. The high intensity and long duration of an Ironman event creates a lot of room for racers to become exhausted. However, there are ways to ensure that your body is fueled and ready for your best race yet. Ironman champion Heather Jackson shares her tips for how to maintain energy and sustain performance throughout a race.
Heather Jackson’s Race Tips for Sustained Performance
1. Build Endurance
Heather Jackson’s biggest tip for racing at a strong, steady pace is to practice what you’re going to do on race day. Heather allots one day a week to run through everything that will happen on race day to a “T”. On practice day, wake up and eat the breakfast you plan on having race day. Next, do your swim workout of the day. Go into your bike training and then continue on with a run workout. Fuel your workouts along the way as you plan to do on race day. The distances for each workout don’t necessarily need to be equal to the full race distance.
Fueling your body properly is an important part of being able to maintain energy throughout a race. What you consume the night before race day will affect your performance. Heather Jackson adds an extra sweet potato or another healthy carb to her meal the night before for an extra energy kick the following day. When running through your practice day, take note of how you feel throughout the race. Do you feel energized enough? If not, you may need to tweak your nutrition and consume more throughout the race. Once race day comes around, you will know exactly what your body needs to be properly fueled for a strong race.
Being prepared for a big event is the key to success. Beyond training for the physical exertion your body will encounter, taking things like nutrition, transition practice, and mental preparation into consideration will make you a better racer. Race day is stressful, but if you are physically and mentally prepared, it will take a lot of stress off so you can perform at your best.
Andy Potts has raced in over 200 triathlons, finished first over 57 times, and represented the US in the Olympic Games less than a year and a half after starting the sport. What’s even more impressive is that amidst his busy competition and training schedule, he still takes the time to support others. Andy can often be found at Ironman events handing out medals to people crossing the finish line. His approach is humble and positive and he always works hard to encourage others.
Andy Potts first heard about Marc Pro from fellow triathlete Heather Jackson. He immediately became interested in Marc Pro and reached out to us so he could try the device for himself. Since incorporating Marc Pro into his routine, he has noticed the difference in his recovery.
“I am beyond happy with my Marc Pro! I have totally bought in to its ability to enhance my recovery… I’ve been targeting two spots lately (quads & total legs) and seeing a ton of progress. The crazy part is that I’ve been sleeping with it (at least the first 3-4 hours)! I might be going overboard but I don’t think so. My ability to repeat my efforts is getting better by the day.”
In addition to being a competitor and fan, Andy is also a coach. He started the AP Racing Team as a way to help others push themselves and reach their goals in the sport of triathlon. We are excited to have such a dedicated and well-respected athlete join our team. Welcome to the team Andy!
Open water swimming is very different from swimming in a pool. You have to be much more aware of your surroundings and ready for other factors that may be present, such as currents and waves. Pro triathlete and Ironman champion Heather Jackson shares some of her tips for preparing for an open water swim. The best thing to do is practice as much as you can in open waters before race day, but if you don’t have access to an ocean or lake practicing these tips in a pool works too.
Open Water Swimming Tips
1. Sighting Technique
Depending on the type of water the race is going to be in, different sighting techniques will be required. Sighting in calm, lake water is going to require a different technique than swimming in rough, ocean water. Swimming out in open waters requires you to scan above the water. Unlike typical pool swimming, you can’t rely on looking at the bottom to guide you. Even if you’re only able to practice the technique in a pool, this is a good skill to master before race day so you can be sure to stay on course while maintaining efficiency in your swim.
2. Get Used to Your Wetsuit
If you’re not used to swimming in a wetsuit, it’s a good idea to practice in it before race day. Wetsuits can often feel constrictive. Even Heather says that she can feel a little claustrophobic in one. The more comfortable you can get with the feel of swimming in a wetsuit, the better.
3. Don’t Think About What’s Below
Heather’s biggest open water swimming tip is to not think about what’s below you. Out in the open water, there is going to aquatic life present. If you, like Heather, are not a fan of the wildlife in the open waters, it’s a good idea to mentally prepare for any sightings or encounters that may occur.
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(Huntington Beach, CA—January 26, 2016)—Marc Pro, creators of electronic muscle recovery and conditioning devices that improve performance, has formalized a partnership with Pro Triathlete, Heather Jackson. Having benefitted from testing and using Marc Pro throughout the past racing season, Jackson has selected Marc Pro as her exclusive partner for muscle recovery and pain relief.
Based in Bend, Oregon Heather Jackson holds notable accolades and titles including a recent 5th place finish at the 2015 Ironman World Championship. She is also the 2015 Ironman Coeur D’Alene Champion and 2015 Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Champion.
“I am excited to officially formalize my partnership with Marc Pro,” said Jackson. “After receiving a device over a year ago, it quickly became part of my day-to-day recovery routine. I immediately noticed a difference in how quickly my muscles recovered after hard sessions, which allowed me to be better prepared to hit the next session. I use my Marc Pro 3-4 times per day and love that I can use it while eating, reading, watching TV and even on flights during travel. I am so grateful to have their support.
Marc Pro utilizes 30 years of medical device experience and research and has worked with many of the world’s leading pro sports teams to develop their easy-to- use device. Unlike muscle-building or pain-masking devices, Marc Pro utilizes a unique and proprietary technology that activates muscle fibers in a way that does not fatigue nor stress tissues while it conditions it for optimal recovery. Jackson joins over 100 professional teams and athletes that are already using Marc Pro and Marc Pro Plus to obtain the benefits of recovery, conditioning, and pain relief.
“We are proud to have Heather as part of the Marc Pro team,” said Marc Pro President, Ryan Heaney. “Heather trains so hard, and we plan on helping her get more out of that hard work by more fully recovering with the use of Marc Pro. We have loved watching her grow as an athlete and personality in the triathlon space and look forward to helping her reach her ultimate triathlon goals.”
Jackson will defend her title at this year’s Oceanside Ironman 70.3, and then race the Wildflower Triathlon, and the St. George Ironman 70.3. Jackson plans to compete again at the Ironman World Championships pending 2016 qualification for the event.
ABOUT MARC PRO®
Marc Pro®, Inc. is a privately held firm based in Huntington Beach, CA. The founders have over 30 years of experience researching, designing, manufacturing and selling electrical stimulation devices in the medical field. All of that research was used to develop the Marc Pro and Marc Pro Plus. Marc Pro works with many of the most elite organizations in the country and have sold our devices to players and trainers from over 100 professional and amateur teams. We’ve accumulated numerous peer reviewed published studies on our specific technologies. We’ve patented our technologies and processes, and we’ve developed a reputation as having the most unique and effective electrical stimulation devices available. We used all of this research and experience to develop the technology and protocols used in Marc Pro devices. We designed and manufacture the Marc Pro devices ourselves, right here in Huntington Beach California where our corporate and manufacturing headquarters reside. We are dedicated to helping athletes at all levels Do More, Recover Faster, and Feel Better!