Tere Zacher Refuses to Allow Others to Define What is Possible

Today on the show I’m joining Tere Zacher for a few easy miles.

Tere Zacher

Tere Zacher

Tere is an incredible reminder that it’s never too late to pursue your goals and dreams, even if others view them as completely unattainable.

Mental Training

Tere believes in the power of the mind.

Her belief in herself has certainly helped her reach heights that may have seemed impossible to others, but never to her.

Whatever your running goals are, your ability to focus over the duration of your race and how you talk to yourself are important mental factors the contribute to your success.

I definitely struggle with the mental component of my training.

I asked Tere a series of questions about improving the mental component of my training. She gave some great tips that I will be implementing, and she also recommended the book Mind Gym as a way to get started in training our minds to help us improve our performance.

You have to set goals that are under your control. If you focus on things that are out of your control you will be frustrated all of the time. Share on X

I will definitely be implementing Tere’s advice into my training. If you feel like you could use a mental boost, I’d definitely encourage you to do the same.

A Late Bloomer in the Pool

Tere did some swimming as a kid. After being out of the water for a number of years, she found her way back in the pool in her early 20s.

After spending a few months seriously training and then competing at a small local event, she set her sights high.

Like, qualifying to swim at nationals high.


Tere found a coach that believed in her, she trained ridiculously hard, and she believed that she had a chance to compete on the world stage and she did it!

Not only did she compete at the World Championships, but she excelled! She has a gold medal in the 50m freestyle from the World Championships in 1998, and she has several silver and bronze world championship medals from subsequent world meets as well.

A Pattern Emerges

After finishing up her competitive swimming career, Tere knew she needed to find something to do in order to stay active.

She began competing in triathlons, but found that she didn’t really like the bike that much. And while the swimming appealed to her, she found that open water swimming was a completely different animal than swimming in the pool.

But Tere found that she did enjoy running…

Tere Zacher, Mid Race

Tere Zacher, Mid Race

She started running at 38 years old, and she got serious about pushing herself in our sport. In fact, she may have pushed a little too much.

Tere dealt with a variety of injury issues over the next few years as she learned to listen to her body and adjust to the pounding that is present for runners but not swimmers.

Even though there have been several ups and downs during her time as a runner, she set a big goal for herself. And when others told her that her dream was too far-fetched, Tere just became even more determined.

Enjoy in the Process

There are times when running is more difficult than others, and oftentimes that difficulty is almost completely mental and not physical.

In those moments, we need to remember one thing.

We don’t have to run, we get to run. 

None of us are promised tomorrow, so we need to take advantage of the opportunities we have today.

As we wrapped up our chat, Tere brought us back to the mental component of our running and training (and lives) in a good way.

Our minds are very powerful, and if we can focus our thoughts in a positive direction that is going to help us in many ways.

So the next time you’re struggling with the motivation to do your run, remember that the ability to run is a blessing that we should not take for granted.

According to @terezacher, we need to focus our #running goals on the things that we can control. #runchat Share on X

Find out more about Tere and what she is doing by visiting her website. And be sure to say hi to her on Twitter and/or Instagram, and thank her for coming on the show!

As Always, I’d Love to Know What Stood Out to You From this Episode! Let Me Know Your Takeaway in the Comments Below!

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1 reply
  1. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    This felt like a training session designed just for me. And it felt like a training session designed just for Denny – a really different kind of runner. Not quite sure how she did it, but what an amazing guest!


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