Top of Their Game

Six local athletes tell us about the sports that changed their lives — and dish out some inspiration for the rest of us


(page 4 of 6)

Pleasant Valley triathlete Art Boyko

Art Boyko

42, Pleasant Valley

A captain with the New York State Police, Boyko placed 365th out of over 2,100 finishers at the 2006 Ironman Lake Placid.

How did you get involved in doing triathlons?
I started swimming competitively when I was five, continued all the way through school, and was fortunate to achieve All-American status in college. I dropped it after school, then decided five years ago to pick it back up. My older sister had done triathlons, and she encouraged me to try them. My first was the Pawling Triathlon in 2005. I was immediately hooked.

What hooked you?
The physical challenge. There are three different disciplines, and you have to train in all three. And there is no limit to what you can achieve — there’s always something to strive for.

Are you training all the time, or do you have an off-season?
I’m that Type A personality, I’m always doing something. If I do have an off-season, it’s been this last two weeks. Mostly it’s the mental break that I need — triathlon training takes a lot out of you mentally and physically. But I’m still doing two workouts a day.

Wow! Two a day?
Yeah. I’m swimming Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I’ll run three days a week, bike three days a week, and lift weights twice a week. But they’re not that intense yet — it’s whatever’s going to be fun.

When training for the Ironman, what’s your routine like?
I try to get in 15-20 hours per week maximum. It’s tough. Just like everybody else, I have responsibilities.

How do you motivate yourself when you just don’t want to get off the couch? Or don’t you have days like that?
Thankfully, I really don’t. It’s funny, but I have this calendar. I’ll plan a week of training, and once I write it down, 99 percent of the time I’ll go out and do it.

Do you have any advice for first-time exercisers?
Start slow. When I first started, I thought biking 10 miles was a lot — I was so proud of myself when I could do that. Now, I bike 50 miles and don’t give it a second thought. I tell people to start out with a mile walk three times a week. Then maybe the next week, you can run one of those miles. After that you can run two.

What’s the hardest part of being an athlete?
Managing the balancing act. I’m proud of the fact that I’m an involved father. I have a few balls in the air. Now and then I drop one, but as long as it doesn’t break, I pick it back up and go on.

What’s was your proudest moment?
Finishing the Lake Placid Ironman in 2006. I’ll be doing it again this July.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?
The benefits that I reap by setting challenges for myself and then accomplishing them.

For information on places to pursue these sports, check our listings.


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