“If there was an 800 IM at the Olympics, I would be swimming it,” Ryan Lochte said, providing insight into his training ahead of the 2021 summer.
12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte is firmly in Coach Gregg Troy‘s clutches. This is positive. The recipe is old, well proven, and Lochte’s training with a world-class crew which includes Caeleb Dressel, arguably the most talented swimmer on earth.
Lochte gets real in this GMM takeover of the SwimSwam podcast, and I’m bullish on Lochte’s prospects next summer after talking with him. We covered a lot of territory, so there is much to unpack here.
“At this point, with all of the work I’m doing,’ Lochte said regarding his 2021 Olympic Trials schedule, “400 and 200 IM, 200 back, 200 free, 100 fly…” You heard it here. Everything is on the table as of October 2020. I pushed back saying no one would fault him for dropping the 400 IM. Lochte dug-in regarding his schedule, saying “Yeah, the normal.”
Lochte, notorious for swimming slowly in-season, will race at the U.S. Open unrested. “I won’t race in a training suit. I will suit-up (in a TYR techsuit), but I’m tired (from Troy training).”
Lochte’s 36 years old, but 2020 will not be his last Olympics attempt. Lochte is well aware that Dara Torres had her best Olympic Games at 41, and that she competed four more years, nearly making Team USA in her mid-forties. Lochte bottom-lined his answer explaining that he’s the happiest when he is training. Moreover, he added that after the 2021 Olympics, he’ll take a trip with his family for a few weeks, then get back into water to start allover again.
Training with Caeleb Dressel, according to Lochte, is fun. Lochte can take him if the repeats are on a tight interval, but Lochte warns, “If he (Dressel) gets any amount of rest…” then Lochte’s eyes got big, surely meaning you can’t catch the 50m freestyle World Champion. (Side note: NBC should have Lochte provide commentary on Dressel’s events just to mix things up. Lochte’s got insights that entertain!)
Has Lochte considered his life after he hangs up his trunks? He has, and it makes sense. Lochte will stay close to his swimming family. He plans to own his own swim club and run a global swimming clinic series. Lochte laughed, adding “I’ll bring back the old guys, Michael Phelps, Aaron Peirsol…”
Lochte loves Aaron Peirsol, crediting Peirsol with teaching him how to be “chill” at competitions. When I asked if he loves him so much then why did he break Perisol’s 200 back world record in 2007, Lochte smiled, “When the gun goes off, all bets are off.”
Those are the highlights. My big takeaway is that Lochte appears to be very happy living and training in Gainesville. After his 200 IM win at U.S. Nationals last summer, carrying 20-25 extra pounds, he’s dangerous next summer at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials. I did not think 400 IM was on the table, but considering Coach Gregg Troy‘s mantra of doing honest work, it appears Troy’s going back to basics with Lochte. In sum, 400 IM really is on Lochte’s schedule.
Final thought — and I do want to hear your opinions in the comments. Based on Lochte’s win last summer, I think he’s a 1:55 in 200 IM solely because he’s 20-25 pounds lighter. I swam, at my worst, seven pounds heavier, and it cost me 1.6 seconds in the 200m butterfly. What do you think?
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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.