Cochrane is Prepared for a Battle in Barcelona

Since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing there have been three men that have consistently found themselves on the medal podium in the 1500 freestyle at major international competitions; Sun Yang, Ous Mellouli and Ryan Cochrane.

  • 2008 Olympics – Mellouli (gold), Grant Hackett (silver) and Cochrane (bronze) – Yang finished eighth
  • 2009 World Championships – Mellouli (gold), Cochrane (silver) and Yang (bronze)
  • 2011 World Championships – Yang (gold) and Cochrane (silver) – Mellouli finished 15th
  • 2012 Olympics – Yang (gold), Cochrane (silver) and Mellouli (bronze)

The three will once again battle for a place on the podium in Barcelona.

In London Cochrane swam a lifetime best of 14:39.63, finishing second to Yang who won the event in a time of 14:31.02 and just ahead of Mellouli who finished third in a time of 14:40.31, “I felt very fortunate to be able to not only make my second Olympic team, but to also better my placing,” Cochrane told SwimSwam. “Not only had I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I felt there were many more expectations to do well going into London.”

“Standing on the Olympic podium is something I’ve dreamed about for many years, and to be one step closer to the top is something that will motivate me for years to come.”

With Canada collecting one gold, five silver and 12 bronze as a country, across all sports, in London, Cochrane came home to Victoria as one of the most successful Canadian Olympians. That success did not cause him to lose sight of his ultimate goal, but he did take the time to enjoy his accomplishment, “I really believe in order to be a great athlete, your mind is constantly focusing on the next step. That being said, when the results finally sunk in a few months after returning home, I was thankful to know that in my 1500 I had put together a race I could really be proud of.”

After the Olympics he did take some time for himself, but also spent time travelling across Canada inspiring as many young people as possible, “After London I took about five weeks off, three weeks of which I spent travelling, and the other two travelling across Canada in order to share my experience with as many people as possible.”

Although Cochrane was satisfied with his results in the 1500 freestyle in London, the 400 freestyle was a very different story. He swam a 3:47.26 in the preliminaries and finished ninth, one one-hundredth of a second behind David Carry of Great Britain. It is because of that fact the focus of his training in the last year has been altered, “My main focus has shifted slightly this year to include more sprint based training in order to better my 400 result. I was very disappointed with my 400 from London, and so we decided to try something new this year and look at training from a different perspective.”

Top five 400 freestyle times from 2012:

  • 3:47.07 – Canadian Olympic Trials (March 29th)
  • 3:47.26 – Olympic Games (July 28th)
  • 3:50.56 – Santa Clara International (June 1st)
  • 3:50.66 – Austin Grand Prix (January 13th)
  • 3:50.73 – Canadian Olympic Trials (March 29th)

To five 400 freestyle times from 2013:

  • 3:47.08 – Canadian World Championship Trials (April 5th)
  • 3:49.56 – Canadian World Championship Trials (April 5th)
  • 3:49.62 – Santa Clara Grand Prix (May 31st)
  • 3:49.67 – French Open (July 6th)
  • 3:49.81 – Santa Clara Grand Prix (May 31st)

When it comes to his main event, the 1500 freestyle, the only time it is included in his competition schedule is if he feels properly prepared, because of that he has only raced the 1500 at four competitions in the last two years, “I’ve swam two 1500s this year, and fewer last year, mainly due to the fact that in our regular heavy training I find it quite difficult to race to my full potential. I enjoy swimming the mile in a prepared state, and I would honestly rather have a great week of training over a 1500 which is off my best.”

1500 freestyle results from 2012:

  • 14:39.63 – Olympic Games (August 4)
  • 14:49.31 – Olympic Games (August 3rd)
  • 15:09.80 – Canadian Olympic Trials (March 31st)
  • 15:28.83 – Canadian Olympic Trials (March 31st)

1500 freestyle results from 2013:

  • 14:59.73 – Canadian World Championship Trials (April 6th)
  • 15:03.14 – Mission Viejo (June 6th)

Heading into the final stage of his preparation he puts his faith in his experience, his coaches and the support staff he works with, “I constantly rely on my experience within taper in order to keep my head and ensure I am ready on race day and not before. Within the final week before a major competition I can feel anywhere from great to absolutely terrible. For me, the important thing is to trust in the work I’ve done all year and to trust in the support team I have around me to get me ready on the needed day.”

Cochrane is confident in his preparation for the World Championships and is ready to compete in Barcelona, “I’m feeling very confident in my training right now, and I’m excited to actually start racing and see what results can be accomplished. My main goal is to better my results from Shanghai two years ago, and with the great competition we are seeing in the distance events, I know it will be no easy feat.”


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Northern Fan

We Canadians are behind you all the way Ryan!


Just a tip, Jeff–you might want to add what event you’re referring to in the byline and in the lead. For those of us who don’t follow distance free (ie, me…), it’s kind of off putting to have to dig down to the third paragraph to find out Cochrane’s London time and therefore what event he’s been on the podium for so many times. Thanks!


Oops, didn’t finish my comment…

Besides the buried lead, great article!


I’ve just realised that Canada only won 1 gold all sports in London.

Considering that Canada is a rich developed country with sizeable population, I wonder why Canadians are not better in summer sports.


Cause it snows a lot and canada’s wealth is just spent on hockey rinks

About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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