Joanna Zeiger
Olympian, Coach, Researcher & Author

Joanna Zeiger, M.S.,Ph.D., raced as a professional triathlete from 1998-2010. She placed 4th in the triathlon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and won the 2008 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in a world record time. She is a seven time Olympic trials qualifier in 3 sports – marathon, triathlon and swimming. Joanna still pursues her passion for sports as a top Masters runner. As a longtime coach of athletes of all ages and abilities, Joanna believes that everyone needs guidance in the pursuit of their goals. Through her company, Race Ready Coaching, she coaches athletes to reach their personal best and instills in them the importance of having fun even when they are training hard. When she is not coaching or training for running events, Joanna works as a consultant in the field of biostatistics. Joanna has a BS in psychology from Brown University, an M.S. in genetic counseling from Northwestern and a Ph.D. in genetic epidemiology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Joanna’s book The Champion Mindset: A Mental Makeover for Athletes was published by St. Martin’s Press in January, 2017. The Champion Mindset is a much-needed and long overdue look into how to program a competitor’s mind to achieve optimal success. Among the topics covered are Proper Goal Setting, Keeping it Fun, Building Your Team, Intention in Training, Improving Motivation, Promoting Self-Confidence, Mind/Body Cohesion, Bringing it on Race Day, Coping with Setbacks, Taking Ownership of Your Career and Becoming a Joyous Athlete for Life. This nonfiction self-help book will offer a step-by-step guide to help athletes of all ages and abilities develop their mental edge so that they can achieve their athletic goals.


Joanna has been involved in public speaking since 2000. In that time, she has presented over 100 times to audiences ranging from 10-650 people, including kids as young as kindergarten to medical professionals to CEOs. Her speaking engagements have taken her throughout the world, with talks on topics that include her Olympic experience, overcoming adversity, triathlon related subjects, mental toughness, chronic fatigue syndrome, and motivational lectures. Joanna’s YouTube videos series and numerous podcasts have reached over a million viewers.

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The Champion Mindset A Mental Makeover for Athletes
St. Martin's Griffin

Champions, as the familiar adage preaches, are not born—they're made. Reaching the top of any sport, or any aspect of life, takes years upon years of dedication and proper preparation. But if there's a huge pool of individuals who have undertaken the same commitment and steps towards becoming the best, what truly separates the winners from everyone else? Joanna Zeiger believes proper mental preparation is the answer.

An Olympian’s Guide to Sisu Sisu is a Finnish word that roughly translates to “grit”. The notion of grit has received national attention lately in environments ranging from school-aged children to professionals in the working world. In this talk, Joanna uses the concept of Sisu in the athletic realm. Through a slideshow, Joanna presents her unique research on mental toughness in endurance athletes and how anyone can apply these traits to everyday life.

How to become an Olympian Sport has been a part of Joanna’s life for almost 40 years. This slide show presentation demonstrates how through the power of sport one can achieve almost anything, even in the face of adversity. This talk takes a humorous and self-deprecating look at goal setting, finding balance in life, never giving up, and learning to enjoy the process as much as the outcome. The photos give a glimpse into the life of a professional athlete and are part travelogue/part personal history.

Read Joanna Zeiger’s Q&A with Women’s Running.

Joanna examines the pros and cons of streak running for mindbodygreen.

Runner’s World takes a look at Joanna Zeiger’s 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.

Read Joanna’s contributions to “Why athletes should treat the brain like a muscle” in The Washington Post.

Check out Joanna’s tips for developing mental strength while pursuing your fitness goals.

Read the Slow Twitch review of The Champion Mindset.

Learn more about Joanna by visiting her website or following her on Twitter.

“We at IMJ Coaching have had Joanna Zeiger speak at our training camps a number of times. I always leap at the chance to have Joanna speak to our athletes...She can speak with authority on a number of pertinent topics ranging from riding and analyzing your power on the bike to swim stroke or running mechanics...Joanna can get into the technical aspects of our sport with aplomb, but resists doing so and explains even the most complicated aspects of sports physiology in easy to understand terms that every athlete can understand and learn something from the conversation...Joanna Zeiger is an outstanding presenter and speaker."
--Scott Jones: Head Coach, IMJ Coaching

"I have been incredibly fortunate to share in the evolution of both Joanna's career and the knowledge she has shared with others. She can speak on any topic as her life's work encompasses a unique perspective that can touch us all. Joanna can articulate her thoughts in a manner that anyone fortunate enough to listen would walk away feeling energized. I know for a fact I am not alone in this sentiment."
--Michael Stone: sports performance coach, personal trainer, adversity counselor

"I had the pleasure of attending Joanna's presentation. She delivered a heartfelt and passionate, yet humorous, session. Her story was empowering; as she explained how lessons learned as an elite athlete can be applied into everyday life challenges. She was a brilliant, engaging speaker and knew how to captivate her audience."
--Maggie Fournier, MD: Elite age group triathlete