"It's a relief to win an individual gold -- it's something pretty cool and special to three-peat," Phelps said, adding Lochte has "brought the best out of me many times."
Phelps is slated to swim in the last individual race of his career in London Friday, when he competes in the 100-meter butterfly.
The swimming legend, in his fourth and final Olympic games, can achieve a hat trick of gold medals in the race, as he won it in the 2004 and 2008 games, as well.
"It's the 100," the Baltimore native, 27, said. "You just kind of go for it and hopefully hang on."
Serbian swimmer Milorad Cavic, also set to swim in the race, said that "Phelps is out of our league.
"It's not fair that I'm talking for everybody, but I'm expecting something special."
The hunky Phelps -- who won a record-eight gold medals during an epic run at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing -- has racked up two gold medals and two silver ones in five competitions in London.
Phelps’ dive toward history will commence Friday at 2:35 pm ET/ 11:35 PT.