Michael Göhner – flexibility is necessary

Michael Göhner

“Flexibility is necessary if you want to combine sports and career.”

He is an Agegroup World Champion on the long distance, holds German championship titles in running as well as in triathlon (long distance/ winter triathlon/ duathlon) and after starting as a professional triathlete in 2006, he was the first to enter the eternal winners list of St. Pölten in 2007. In total, he stood there three times at the starting line and will be back on the track in 2020. Apart from sport, family is very important to Michael. “Sure, sport is important to me. Nevertheless I also have a family with whom I want to spend time”, says the husband and father of three. “A certain flexibility is necessary, but yes, it’s possible – family, sport and career can be combined.”
Michael has given us his best tips and tricks on how to balance private life and ambitious triathlon sports.

Have a plan

It is important to have a plan that is systematic. You can write plans yourself or get help from outside, from a trainer. Around this plan you can arrange your private and working life so that there is time for everything. For example, you can go to the swimming pool quickly before your appointment or, if possible, cycle to work. “For me in my working place, the easiest way is to train in the morning. This forces me to cycle or run sober and often combine swimming with an appointment afterwards,” he says. Sensible annual planning is also relevant. That way you can really reach your best form at the annual peak.

Training weekends instead of many competitions

Less is often more in this case. Due to the limited time available, it is advisable to do fewer competitions and to use the time at the weekend for long training sessions. Effective training means that you train the short units intensively. Therefore the long units should be really quiet. Junk miles and half-hearted units are out of place and more lost time than goal-oriented training.


A certain flexibility is necessary. Always have sports equipment in the car in order to be able to do a small athletics, strength or stretching program in the hotel room or similar, is Michael’s number one tip. “Maybe the meeting is over a little earlier and you gain an hour that you can spend in the gym, swimming pool or anywhere else. It helps a lot if you just leave your gym bag in the car and take the direct route. Also alternative trainings on the way home (especially in winter cross-country skiing is a great possibility for a very effective training.

Include family

A long run coming up? It’s much more fun together than alone. Just take your child, partner or the whole family with you on your bike. “That way no long run is boring and you also have a bottle carrier with you,” says Göhner with a laugh. That way you also bring your children closer to the sport.
Summing up, Michael says that the triangle of family, sport and career can definitely work. Excuses are out of place. “Nevertheless, you should never take the support of your loved ones for granted and sometimes the family simply comes first!

Nils FrommholdMichaela Rudolf