Michael Phelps Ready For Challenging 200 IM-100 Free Double In Mesa

Michael Phelps
Photo Courtesy: Kara Sekenski

Michael Phelps didn’t compete Friday night at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa, Ariz., which should make him fresh for a tough session tonight in which he will swim the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle within a 20-minute time span.

In an interview with media after his prelims swims that qualified him for both championship finals, Phelps admitted that he’ll experience pain in both races but each will be an indicator of his training level at this point in the season.

“I feel so much better, in much better physical shape now than I ever have,” he said. “I just don’t know how to race. Tonight’s going to be a big challenge. If I can get up and do two decent performances tonight, then I won’t be worried.”

The double will be a part of Phelps’ reintroduction to racing, which he wasn’t able to do during his six-month suspension by USA Swimming after his DUI arrest in late September. Phelps, now 29, knows his body doesn’t recover as quickly from a tough race as it did in 2008, the year when his body was arguably at its peak.

“Tonight the lactic acid will be pretty high,” Phelps said. “Whatever happens, that’s what it is. (I will) try not to be too hard on myself, and learn as much as I can from this.”

After the interview, Phelps spent time mingling with young fans, signing various items before leaving the venue to rest for tonight’s finals.