DivineCaroline: Instead of being the trainee, you are actually playing the role of coach?
Michael Phelps: I don’t know how well I am doing but I am here to help my sister Whitney prepare to run the marathon. Throughout my whole career she and the rest of my family have been by my side supporting me every step of the way so it is thrilling for me to do this for her. It is cool for me to watch her prepare for a big race as opposed to me prepping for a big meet.
DC: How do you rate your coaching abilities?
MP: I take that back, I am a great coach (laughs)!
DC: What advice did you give to your sister about following an intense training schedule?
MP: Just to have fun. As long as you can smile through your race that is all that matters.
DC: Now it is you sitting on the sidelines, a place you are not used to being. How are you handling the transition?
MP: It is cool and very different. To be there for my family and watch them have fun is so exciting for me.
DC: So retirement suits you well?
MP: I have been travelling a lot and been on the road for the past month. I will continue to be on the road for the next couple of weeks, which has been great.
DC: Has your diet changed now that you are now longer training?
MP: A lot. I barely eat anything anymore. I mean I get what I need but because I am not spending four to six hours in the pool working out I need to scale down on the bad stuff and give my body the good stuff it needs. I also make sure to replenish my body with the other nutrients I lose when I work-out. I used to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Now I have to scale that down now since I don’t work out the way that I used to.
DC: You always seemed so calm, cool and collective before competing at the Olympic Games. What’s the secret to staying so composed?
MP: For me, I always listen to music. It really puts me in a zone. It helps me block everything out, like the distractions around you and really focus.
DC: But you can’t listen to music on your headphones and swim at the same time?
MP: Once I got onto the blocks I knew there was nothing more I could do because all of my preparations were finished. At that point it was time to swim.
DC: What is Michael Phelps like when he is away from the pool?
MP: I have always been to myself. I also have had goals that I wanted to achieve and for that reason I have always been very alone.
DC: You must hang out with someone?
MP: Whether it is playing video games, cards with my family, watching a movie or playing spades with the guys at the Olympics, I really like to keep it low.
DC: You reportedly play a mean game of golf. Is this your new hidden talent?
MP: Yes I did have one good shot. I will say I am improving and it is going to take some time to really get to the place I would like to get. It is a new goal of mine and it keeps me going to try and achieve something big.
DC: Aside from hitting the greens have you been in the pool since returning from London?
MP: Yes. I have hit the pool a few times. I was in the pool more times at this Olympics than the other two Olympics. Now when I am in the pool I do it on my own. No one is forcing me to do it anymore. Being in the water really helps me feel good, block everything out and have a clear mind.
DC: You really won’t miss the thrill of competing?
MP: No. I have so much other stuff going on right now.
DC: Will you still go to the games Rio in 2016?
MP: I won’t compete but as for playing another role I am not sure. I would like to be there supporting my teammates. Look, who knows what will happen over the next couple of years but right now I plan on being a spectator.
DC: You also created The Michael Phelps Foundation (http://www.michaelphelpsfoundation.org/ ). Tell me about that?
MP: My charity is still growing. To have the ability to work teach water safety to The Boys & Girls Club and Special Olympics is so special to me. Over the next couple of years you will see this organization expand because I want to reach many, many children.