The Morning Swim Show, Dec. 9, 2011: No Rest For Ryan Lochte on Road to Olympics

PHOENIX, Arizona, December 9. RYAN Lochte, the Swimming World Magazine, Male Swimmer of the Year, joins today's edition of The Morning Swim Show to look back on a successful 2011.

Among the highlights was five gold medals at the world championships, new sponsors as a result of his notoriety. The success has brought him much financial gain, but it doesn't mean his work in the pool is diminishing in the road to London. He also talks about preparing for the Olympics, including the events he might swim and when taper might begin. Watch the full show in the video player below and visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.

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Show Transcript: (Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)

Peter Busch: This is The Morning Swim Show for Friday, December 9th 2011. I'm your host Peter Busch. In the FINIS monitor today we'll talk to Ryan Lochte. He is Swimming World Magazine's Male World Swimmer of the Year. Ryan joins us right now in the FINIS monitor from Gainesville, Florida. Hey Ryan, welcome back to the show. How are you?

Ryan Lochte: I'm dong pretty good. Thank you for having me.

Peter Busch: Congrats on the award, two years in a row.

Ryan Lochte: Yes, thank you.

Peter Busch: What was the goal for you at the beginning of 2011?

Ryan Lochte: Honestly, since they banned those suits I really wanted to do something in the sport of swimming that no one else has done and that was kind of my goal going into that year.

Peter Busch: So to break a world record without a high tech suit.

Ryan Lochte: Yes.

Peter Busch: So you did that in Shanghai, just narrowly eclipsing your own mark in that 200 IM. So for you was that the most satisfying swimming moment of the year?

Ryan Lochte: Definitely for that year I would have to say that was the most satisfying, but still I wasn't really pleased with everything that happened I would say.

Peter Busch: Why do you say that?

Ryan Lochte: Just because I think I set my goals high enough to the point where I'm never satisfied. I mean, I did really good in Shanghai at Worlds but I know I can go a lot faster and I think that's why I wasn't really pleased with everything.

Peter Busch: Michael Phelps always said before 2008 he was motivated by history, he wanted to break Spitz's record, he wanted to do something that had never been done before. What motivates you going into next year?

Ryan Lochte: Honestly it's myself, it's the goals that I set for myself. I make sure that I set them high enough to where every day I have to go into practice and really work on it and really work on reaching those goals, and I've been doing that since pretty much since I was little, just setting my goals high enough to where I'd always have to achieve them every day.

Peter Busch: Is your goal something that was as tangible as what Phelps was trying to do, eight golds, or can you articulate exactly what it is that will make you happy?

Ryan Lochte: I mean, that would be nice doing that at the Olympics, by all means that would be awesome, but you know what? If I swim one event at the Olympics or if I swim 20, it doesn't matter. I love racing and I'm having so much fun doing it, so I'll be happy with whatever events or whatever number I get. I'm just going to enjoy swimming as much as possible right now.

Peter Busch: Have you and Gregg Troy decided yet how many you're going to try to swim in London?

Ryan Lochte: No, we haven't. We still have not sat down and actually had that talk. I think after Christmas break and Christmas training I think we're going to sit down probably sometime in January and we're going to sit down and actually look at the event schedule and everything and see what events I'm going to swim.

Peter Busch: You had to have thought about it though by this point, haven't you?

Ryan Lochte: Honestly, no, not really. I'm kind of taking each day at a time and each swim one at a time so right now I really haven't really given much thought about the Olympics yet.

Peter Busch: We saw you swim last week at Atlanta. I'm going out on a limb saying you weren't tapered for that meet.

Ryan Lochte: Definitely not. I've been training really hard and I would say that that meet was probably one of the worst meets I've had in a very long time.

Peter Busch: Only you can go like 4:20 in the 400 IM and call it the worst meet of all time.

Ryan Lochte: It definitely was a wake-up call. There's a lot of good racing out there and I just got my butt handed to me I guess. But it was a wake-up call and hopefully that won't happen again.

Peter Busch: You're doing heavy training. Now, heavy training is relative to the person. I imagine for you it means like climbing a mountain every day. Give me an idea of what a couple of days of practices have been like lately for you.

Ryan Lochte: It's pretty much been brutal especially we started on Monday morning Christmas training so we're pretty much doing doubles every day, we're doing stadiums, we're running, doing a lot of lifting, a lot of added work so it's going to be brutal for the next – I think we have to reach 36 practices in the next – I want to say in the next week and a half to two weeks – so definitely going to be busy.

Peter Busch: I'm doing the quick math in my head, that's a lot of practices in a very short amount of time.

Ryan Lochte: It definitely is, but we're used to it and it's Christmas training so we've got to get to working.

Peter Busch: Is it possible to overtrain?

Ryan Lochte: Maybe I guess, I don't think I've ever – I think it's better to overtrain than to undertrain especially now in case if – when the time comes when I do, like, start tapering and getting ready for Olympic Trials I have more I guess in the bank so I can taper more. I'm happy that I'm doing enough yardage right now.

Peter Busch: When do you start tapering for a big meet? Because everybody's different, tapers are very unique to the swimmer. What for you is kind of the rough point where you say "All right, we've got to really start cutting back" and I know it's gradual but if you could ballpark it.

Ryan Lochte: This year I think because we're doing so much more than I've ever really done so I think that this year I'm going to taper a lot longer than usual so I would probably say exactly like a month out is when I will start not doing pretty much anything.

Peter Busch: A month before Trials?

Ryan Lochte: Yes.

Peter Busch: Okay, and then maybe a little buildup back before the Olympics and then taper again?

Ryan Lochte: Yes, exactly.

Peter Busch: It's been a big year for you as well not just in swimming but in getting sponsors. You've definitely become more and more of a visible face in the sports world. People outside of swimming are starting to know who Ryan Lochte is. Can you give us an idea of maybe the past couple of years when you've had tremendous success, World Swimmer of the Year twice for Swimming World, how much that has increased for you, how many more sponsors?

Ryan Lochte: It's definitely helped out a lot. I mean with the whole sponsor thing it's definitely gone pretty much uphill since after 2008 and I mean I'm really thankful that I have a great team behind me that's helping me out on getting me sponsors, getting me deals and everything so I'm very thankful for that. Honestly, I'm just doing what I love to do, I love swimming and it's gotten me to the point where like companies like Gatorade, Gillette, Ralph Lauren. They're actually looking at me so I'm pretty humble and thankful for everything that I've been getting.

Peter Busch: Can you can yourself a millionaire now?

Ryan Lochte: (Laughs) I guess.

Peter Busch: Hey man, there's nothing wrong with that.

Ryan Lochte: Yes. I have a bunch of money I guess coming my way, and like I said I'm really thankful for it.

Peter Busch: The reason I asked, it's not to be personal but we see how much other athletes in other sports make and we all know that nobody works harder than swimmers so it's great to see – we know Phelps did very well and there have been a few swimmers who've been able to really, really cash in but it's few and far between and you have to be one of the best in the world. I'm just saying definitely it was due for you.

Ryan Lochte: I guess it's really important for swimmers to get the money that you see like basketball players, like baseball players, football players get. I guess it's a lot harder I guess because swimming's really not that well known around the world but it's getting there and people like Michael Phelps, me, like Dara Torres, Natalie Coughlin, like them – we're still trying to make the sport bigger than what it is in 2008 so that's what we're doing and hopefully it will bring more money and revenue for other athletes.

Peter Busch: So we'll see you on some commercials during the Olympics in London hopefully.

Ryan Lochte: I hope so.

Peter Busch: All right, origin of the word "Jeah," perhaps your favorite word. Where did that come from?

Ryan Lochte: Actually it came from a Young Jeezy song and he would always say Chea, C-H-E-A, and I guess one time I decided instead of saying just "yeah" I decided to change it to "jeah" with a J and it's kind of been like my trademark for a while. I want to say all the way in like 2007 or something.

Peter Busch: So is that something you'll like yell out after a race? You win the gold medal next year in a couple of events and the first thing you do is look up at the scoreboard and just yell it?

Ryan Lochte: Yeah, I think so. I think I did that a couple of times right after 2008, I think in 2009 when I first broke the 200 Individual Medley world record. I think I screamed like "Jeah." It's definitely something I'm probably going to keep with me.

Peter Busch: Maybe you can talk to the people at the pool in London to light up the scoreboard with J-E-A-H-! if you win the event. It's kind of like a pre-orchestrated touchdown dance?

Ryan Lochte: Oh, that would be amazing. I'd definitely get a kick out of that.

Peter Busch: We'll talk to some people. They said they would do that if you win nine gold medals. So if you're ready to commit to that right here on the show I think we can get the ball rolling.

Ryan Lochte: That's too early to tell.

Peter Busch: Ryan, have you got any big Christmas plans other than swimming eight times a day?

Ryan Lochte: Besides swimming every day, me and my family, we're going to New York for the holidays so it's definitely going to be a lot of fun I know. We have about 27 people that are going to be there with all our aunts, uncles, cousins, and everything so it's definitely going to be a lot of fun.

Peter Busch: Twenty-seven people in New York – do you have family there or are you putting everybody up at The Ritz, what's going on?

Ryan Lochte: No, no, no – a lot of my family members they live in White Plains, it's right outside New York City, so that's where like all my aunts and cousins live and everything so we're all going there for Christmas.

Peter Busch: All right. Is that where you were born?

Ryan Lochte: I was born in Upstate New York in Rochester.

Peter Busch: How nice – hey, well have a great holiday season, congratulations again on winning Swimming World Magazine's Male World Swimmer of the Year. Well deserved everything you've received this year. Good luck next year, buddy.

Ryan Lochte: All right, thank you, happy holidays.

Peter Busch: All right, same to you. That's Ryan Lochte joining us in the FINIS monitor today and that is it for today's show. I'm Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.

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