Corvallis to Kona - Part II

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The IRONMAN triathlon is regarded by most as one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. Competitors start with a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, and finish with a full marathon, 26.2 mile run.

Not only did 21 year old Emile Francis Chol run his first IRONMAN earlier this summer, but he qualified for the IRONMAN World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii this October. 

In part two of our two part exclusive Run Corvallis interview, we explore Emile's training, where he loves to run, and what has motivated him towards his journey to the World Championships on October 14th.

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Which triathlon leg do you enjoy the most?

Running is definitely my favorite leg. I’m good at the swim, but I don't like the training as it’s like being in a liquid hamster wheel.

Once I get into the run during a race I just feel like I’m in my zone.


I’m glad you said running is your favorite! Where do you like to run?

I really love McDonald Forest. Being out in the woods on my own, surrounded by trees, in shit weather like today, (rainy weather during interview) can be so much fun. No one is out there and I feel like the cold and weather allows me to really get in the zone.

I ran the McDonald 50K which was just savage. It was such a hard race but I would definitely do it again. It was great training and really helped me get in shape for this IRONMAN.

I wish I could run there more but I’m training mostly on roads right now. I do about one trail run a week. Right now I run mostly on the Midge Cramer path out to Bald Hill. I love the accessibility from campus, and flexibility of selecting different paths to get different desired distances. You can make it into a 3 mile run, a 20 mile run, and even a long or short trail run. I love how many options you have out there.


Give us an insight into Emile’s training. What does a typical day look like?

My OSU major gives me a lot of flexibility on a day to day basis. It requires a lot of writing allowing me to structure my training schedule around periods of writing.

I look at studying and paper writing time as recovery for my body. This is really helpful for my training as I know many people try and train between a 9-5 job which doesn’t provide as much flexibility.

Once I get into the run during a race I just feel like I’m in my zone.
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Is everyday a multi workout day for you throughout your training?

Yeah, most days are two-a-day and some are three-a-day.

Swimming will always be at 6am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The biking and running will typically be back to back. If I do a 20 mile bike ride, I will immediately get off the bike and get a long run in, just like I would do in the race.

It’s important to have a lot of variation in the training. I don't ever get into a routine except with swimming just because that 6am wakeup call is a good way to start the day.


Wow three workouts a day! You probably log some serious miles.

Yeah, it’s funny because some of the days where I do three-a-day workouts, I almost do an entire half IRONMAN in one day!


What keeps you motivated through your training?

The most important thing for me has been having a lot of really positive influences around me.

I have a lot of really good friends who also like getting up at 6am for a swim. It's fun because you get up and hang out, see all your friends, and talk about the day. If anyone is ever crankie, you realize that you are all in it together.

The other important part of it is making sure that the people surrounding me outside of my training understand and support what you I'm doing and will help you out.

My girlfriend is awesome. She is always out supporting me and has been to every triathlon I have ever done. When people aren’t on board and don't support you, you feel guilty during training and you don't get in as good a workout.

After a long bike ride, I have a Pabst Blue Ribbon in the shower. I don’t know why, but that always makes my legs feel better.
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What is your go to training meal?

I don't really have a go to meal, but my go to tradition after a workout, except in the morning, is a shower beer.

After a long bike ride, I have a Pabst Blue Ribbon in the shower. I don't know why, but that always makes my legs feel better.

Beer is a great recovery drink, maybe not four of them, but one or two can help as it relaxes you allows you time and space for your body to recover.

With just over a week until Emile heads to Kona for the World Championships, we will be giving updates on his final training days and posting photos during race weekend. Follow him on social media @emilio_francisco_ and stay up to date with the journey to Kona.