Search Empire State Ride

Training for Hills on Flat Terrain

This is one of the most common questions I get asked. In this blog, I’ll break down the demands of climbing and the solution for training in flat terrain to meet those demands.

The demands of climbing can be broken down into three basic requirements. Good oxygen delivery to the working muscles, good pedaling efficiency and the right mindset and strategy to tackle the elevation gain. Let’s look at these a bit closer.

VO2Max

Oxygen delivery is expressed as VO2Max. This is your maximum ability to take oxygen from the atmosphere and deliver it to the working muscles. This is a very trainable system that does not require hills to accomplish. In the ESR Training plans your V02 is improved with the long Endurance Miles (EM) and the short high intensity Power Intervals (PI).

In the case of Endurance Miles it’s actually better to do this training on flattish terrain so you can keep the intensity consistently low. You may have heard this described as Zone 2 training. And here’s the kicker, the Power Intervals are best done in a very controlled environment and I often encourage my athletes to do these on an indoor trainer. You can do them outdoors as well but flat terrain is the best for these intervals as you need very high cadence to execute these well.

Pedaling Efficiency

It takes more energy to accelerate a bicycle that it does to keep it at a steady speed. So if you have big dead spots in your pedaling cycle you are essentially accelerating during every revolution of the pedal stroke. A dead spot is where pedaling power (torque) is lost when sub-optimally shifting from one movement pattern to another. Unpacking this further, if you have a dead spots in your pedal stroke you will struggle when the road goes up or when there is a significant headwind. Improving your pedaling efficiency will make the hills and headwinds a whole lot easier.

 

The good news is that this is very trainable in flat terrain. Use headwinds to improve your pedaling mechanics. Personally I like headwinds because it gives me an opportunity to work on my pedaling mechanics. And if you want to take it to the next level, go ride in a sandy trail. That will teach you how to maintain torque on the pedals.

To mimic the muscular endurance demands of climbing, ride into a headwind during your Endurance Miles with a bigger gear than you normally would choose. Don’t worry about speed, keep the intensity low and focus on maintaining effective force on the pedals from 12-7 around the crank.

Mindset and Strategy

If you dread the hills you’re missing out on one of the most enjoyable aspects of cycling. I recently moved to Florida from CO and before I chose where to live here I did a recon to find the hilliest area in the state. So first we have to change our mindset and see hills as an opportunity to practice our pedaling and learn how to ride them with skill. Every hill provides a prize at the end, the fun descent!

First rule of climbing is start easy! Biggest mistake is to start too fast, blow up halfway up and rest at the top. When I do a climbing camp with cyclists the first thing I do is to challenge them to go up a hill as slow as I do. Invariably, as we ride side by side, as soon as we hit the hill they accelerate and within a few seconds are a bike length ahead of me. The right way to approach a hill is to keep your intensity at the same level as you were on the flats and allow the hill to slow you down. Shift to a lighter gear then if at some point you think you can go a little harder do it in small increments, one gear at a time, at a pace that you can sustain over the top and for the first 10 feet of the downhill on the other side.

You can practice this on flat terrain with a headwind. Pick a 5-10min stretch of road, start slow and gradually increase your speed until you find the right pace for you. Keep your Rate of Perceived Exertion at 6-7 and practice eliminating the dead spots in your pedal stroke.

The bottom line is that if you follow one of the three ESR training plans and incorporate the pedaling efficiency training you will have trained as well as you can for hills in flat terrain.

See you all soon!

Coach Charlie

 

Alumni ESR rider advice for first-time riders

Hello first time #ESR rider, 

For a first-time rider, the Empire State Ride can seem intimidating. But, ask any of our alumni and they will remind you that this ride isn’t just a fitness challenge. They will proudly tell you that the Empire State Ride brought them a new perspective on the world, their life and each other.

If are a novice rider, or on the fence about accepting the challenge, look no further – our alumni have you covered.

 

You can do it!

“Your body can do anything… it’s your brain you need to convince.”Tracey M.

Studies have shown your body releases early signs of fatigue to keep you from overexerting yourself. With proper training you’ll find you can push through anything. 

 

“Humility. Accepting, with grace, my limitations.”Arlene K.

Sometimes enough is enough. While it is good to test your limits, you need to listen to your body. Your health and safety is our top priority. When you choose to go on the road with us, we have a team of professionals to support you every pedal of the way. 

 

Pace yourself, and get it done.

“It doesn’t matter how fast you pedal, just freaking pedal!”Sal T.

If you haven’t done a long-distance ride before, 500+ miles can seem impossible. One push at a time, one stretch at a time, and before you know it, you’ll have crossed that finish line.

“Pacing is key. I can hang on the back of a train at 23 mph for a day and then struggle to ride 10 mph for the next two days. Or I can ride 13 mph all day, every day.”Matt G.

Find your flow and stick to it. This is not a race, it’s an adventure. 

“For me, there are three: 

  1. Bring a battery powered oscillating fan for your tent! 
  2. It’s not a race, always take the time to stop for a picture or explore something cool 
  3. Make SURE to use the bathroom before going to bed every night. Nothing worse than getting up in the middle of the night when you are exhausted and can’t see anything.” – Jason M. 

“Ride your own ride…and enjoy it.”Rick J.

No matter what, this challenge is about you and the cancer patients you are riding for. Enjoy yourself and do what you need to do to prepare so you are ready for the ride of your life.

Meet Your New Close Friends.

“Who knew in those 7 days of cycling you would inherit a family. ESR family for life.”Maurice A.

“You will have yourself another family. Ride with others but ride by yourself…you’ll have to dig in and it’ll all make sense.”Nicholas R.

At the beginning of the Empire State Ride, a group of strangers begins their journey across New York. By the time the riders cross the finish line, they have made lifelong friendships. And nothing will break that bond.


“Enjoy the moment and the great sights and people around you. It doesn’t matter if you ride 12 mph or 20 you are moving forward for a great cause.”Daisy H.

Look at the bigger picture. You are completing a ride of a lifetime to advance cancer research. Cycling is a celebration of health. We must do our part to end cancer. 


“Started as a “me” thing. Ended as a “we” thing.”Chris H.


“Putting yourself out there, challenging yourself and supporting a cause will inspire others to do the same.” 

– David V.

Road warriors are courageous. Choosing to ride the Empire State Ride is choosing to lead. Your hard work contributes to the world of cancer research and the patients at Roswell Park. 

Don’t forget your butt!

“Develop your chafing prevention protocol early and stick with it.”Chris H.

Saddle sores hurt. We suggest training for a long-distance ride, as much as possible, and finding the saddle that works for you. 

“Extra strength Desitin = Liquid Gold.”Michelle B. 

The food is fantasitic.

“Snacks!”Jose V.

Everything you need to keep you going on the road will be provided with a smile from our team. 

“I learned I can gain weight over the same seven days I rode 540+ miles. The food was excellent!”Jim M.

You have been warned. Riders enjoy catered breakfast and dinner every day

ESR rider spotlight: Maria Thor

Why this year’s ride matters more than ever

For 59-year-old Maria Thor, enjoying nature, being surrounded by loved ones and taking care of her health are three of life’s greatest blessings. She cycles six days a week and adds an hour of weights whenever possible as part of her training for Empire State Ride, which she has proudly done every year since 2017. She rides to honor her parents who both lost their battles to cancer.

Through everything, Maria’s strong faith sees her through life’s ups and downs. In recent years, this faith has become more important than ever as she’s been faced with new challenges.

Early warning signs

In February 2021, Maria was diagnosed with dyslexia, a condition that affects how she processes written language. The diagnosis shed light on the struggles Maria faced throughout her life. Armed with a new perspective, she set out to learn how to navigate her condition by spending time with a specialist in New York City. It was during training that she started to notice something in her stomach didn’t feel right. 

“I know my body so well, and that’s really important,” Maria says. “I always stress that if there’s something wrong, you should go to the doctor.”

And she did. She called her doctor right away and had an appointment as soon as she returned home in November. After a sonogram and a CT scan, she received a phone call that no one ever wants to receive.

“I’ll never forget it. I was riding my bicycle when the doctor called and said I had a fatty mass. I almost fell off my bike.”

On November 22, Maria’s diagnosis came back: Leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that grows in the smooth muscles.

Maria Thor-020822-070

Alongside her niece, Rebecca, close friend, Terry, and the staff at Roswell Park, Maria started chemotherapy. For each round of treatment, she stays at the hospital for days at a time, hooked up to an infusion pump on an IV stand that Rebecca has fondly named Wanda. Despite any limitations, Maria completes three miles, or about 99 laps around her floor, with Wanda in tow.

Not all days are good, but she does what she can to keep herself moving. That includes participating in her sixth Empire State Ride.

“It’s in God’s hands what I’m going to be able to do this year [at ESR],” Maria says. “If it’s just a mile, I’ll do a mile. But I will be at the Empire State Ride, heck or high water, sleeping in a tent and joining everybody in celebration.”

 

 

Remembering her first ride

Maria’s journey makes raising funds to end cancer more important than ever.  She thinks back to her first Empire State Ride in 2017 and remembers not knowing what to expect. A self-declared “Holiday Inn girl,” she avoided camping for most of her life and had limited experience with distance cycling.

“I really had no idea how to ride my bicycle. I just rode,” she said. “It’s a game — getting the rest, taking the supplements you need, drinking water every 10 minutes, finding a support group to cheer you on. That first year, you really learn.”

As she prepares to embark on her sixth Empire State Ride with her team, GBY9 (“God Bless You” followed by her parents’ favorite number), she looks forward to doing what she can on her bike and cheering everybody else on. Like years past, she’ll stop when she sees a penny or quarter and pocket what she calls her “wings from heaven.” Later, she’ll add the coins to her fundraising total.

Most importantly, Maria will keep a list of people who have donated to her fundraiser and send them prayers from the road. They’re part of her team, and she can say firsthand that what they’re doing makes a difference in the lives of patients like her.

“Your whole life changes in a blink when you hear the words, ‘You have cancer,’” she said. “You don’t take anything for granted.”

That, Maria says, is reason enough to keep moving.

Join Maria at this year’s Empire State Ride. 

Words to the warriors

Hello first time #ESR rider, 

Before you tackle over 500 miles, you might need some advice from riders who have tackled this before. Our ESR road warriors know what it takes to cycle across New York State and have shared some of their expertise on how to prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.

Here is some advice past ESR road warriors think you should know before you arrive at Wagner College on Saturday, July 23, 2022.

 

Facebook community

“My best advice is ask a lot of questions. Find someone [through the Facebook group] you can use as a ‘buddy’ and go from there. I asked a million questions, got a thousand answers and learned hundreds of things I never even thought to ask.”Greg Topf

“Keep your eyes on [the Facebook] group. There is so much information and so many resourceful members who are always happy to help! Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”Ariane Brabant

Train

“The best advice is to follow the Charlie Livermore training program on the ESR website!” Steve Mars

Check it out here. 

“You will have a ton of fun. Start training now.” – Mark Elia

“Practice multi-day rides beforehand. Time in the saddle will best prepare your ‘saddle.’ Have fun. Remember your why when it’s not going perfectly and pedal on! Use this family for anything you need.”Matt Geraghty

“Make sure you have a good plan for nutrition and hydration. Experiment on your long training rides.”Frank Lettera

“It’s a good idea to start stringing multiple ride days together in the spring to prepare for the 7-day ride… and make sure you learn about cycling nutrition. No shortage of help (and opinions) in the ESR FB group!”Steve Mars

 

Have fun

“Eat the elephant one bite at a time, and make sure to save enough room to take all the feels in. It’s one of the most powerful accomplishments you can achieve.”Sean Crotty

“It’s not a race. Ride at your own pace, enjoy the sights, take lots of pictures, have fun!”Jim Stelianou

On the road

“Pack light!”Heather Hasnik Ring

“Your luggage is handled each morning by an awesome ESR crew that moves it all to the next overnight. It will make more sense when the list is published. No worries.” Shelley Asad Unocic

“At orientation and at breakfast on day 1, sit at different tables and get to know the amazing people signed up for this journey. I found it comforting to see familiar faces on the road during the first day of the ride.”Ariane Brabant

“I pack a pair of shorts/bib for each day. Happy I did. Having fresh clean dry jersey/bib each day was a great feeling.”Jim Stelianou

“Pack light! Bring one bib for each day for sure! Train now, fundraise now but most importantly, enjoy every single moment of your journey! Definitely nice clean dry shorts are key.”Judy Rosich Carrera

“Also, don’t be afraid to engage ESR alumni and new riders when you arrive at Wagner College. You should have a group to ride with either on day 1 or 2. We are all in this together!”Frank Lettera

 

Now it's your turn

Take on ERS22 and learn as much as you can so next year, you can share your advice with us. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at empirestateride@roswellpark.org.

Cycling safely when alone or in a group

Empire State Ride is a cycling adventure for those who commit to advance cancer research from the seat of their bike. To have the best possible experience, whether you’re riding across New York State or in your hometown, staying safe on the road is imperative.

 

Safety tips:

Make left turns from the center of the road or the left turning lane.

  • Do not cross the yellow center line regardless of the passing zone.
  • Cross railroad tracks at right angles to avoid getting stuck between the rails and the road.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink before you are thirsty during and after your ride.
  • Wear sunscreen on all exposed skin. Follow these five tips to find the right SPF.
  • Know your limitations.
  • Listen to your body. Take advantage of rest stops and lean on our team for support when you need it.

When riding in a group, your fellow riders will expect you to ride at a consistent speed and direction until you signal and communicate your change. Practicing cycling etiquette helps to eliminate crashes and injuries.

 

Cycling Etiquette tips:

  • Obey all traffic signs, signals and police officer instruction.
  • Ride as far to the right of the road as is safely possible, except to pass.
  • Use proper hand signals when turning.
  • Be aware of your surroundings — This adventure takes place on open roads. Motor vehicle traffic will be present. Headphones, iPods and radios are prohibited.
  • Wear a properly fitted CPSC standard bike helmet and appropriate cycling gear. A helmet must be worn at all times while riding. Find out how to properly fit your helmet here.

Now you are ready to take the open road and enjoy your Empire State Ride.

Additional resources:

In the meantime, here are a few more tools to help you familiarize yourself with basic cycling safety and etiquette. Enjoy these videos provided by the League of American Cyclists:

Alumni ESR rider advice: for first-time riders

Hello first time #ESR rider, 

For a first-time rider, the Empire State Ride can seem intimidating. But, ask any of our alumni and they will remind you that this ride isn’t just a fitness challenge. They will proudly tell you that the Empire State Ride brought them a new perspective on the world, their life and each other.

If are a novice rider, or on the fence about accepting the challenge, look no further – our alumni have you covered.

 

You can do it!

“Your body can do anything… it’s your brain you need to convince.”Tracey M.

Studies have shown your body releases early signs of fatigue to keep you from overexerting yourself. With proper training you’ll find you can push through anything. 

 

“Humility. Accepting, with grace, my limitations.”Arlene K.

Sometimes enough is enough. While it is good to test your limits, you need to listen to your body. Your health and safety is our top priority. When you choose to go on the road with us, we have a team of professionals to support you every pedal of the way. 

 

Pace yourself, and get it done.

“It doesn’t matter how fast you pedal, just freaking pedal!”Sal T.

If you haven’t done a long-distance ride before, 500+ miles can seem impossible. One push at a time, one stretch at a time, and before you know it, you’ll have crossed that finish line.

“Pacing is key. I can hang on the back of a train at 23 mph for a day and then struggle to ride 10 mph for the next two days. Or I can ride 13 mph all day, every day.”Matt G.

Find your flow and stick to it. This is not a race, it’s an adventure. 

“For me, there are three: 

  1. Bring a battery powered oscillating fan for your tent! 
  2. It’s not a race, always take the time to stop for a picture or explore something cool 
  3. Make SURE to use the bathroom before going to bed every night. Nothing worse than getting up in the middle of the night when you are exhausted and can’t see anything.” – Jason M. 

“Ride your own ride…and enjoy it.”Rick J.

No matter what, this challenge is about you and the cancer patients you are riding for. Enjoy yourself and do what you need to do to prepare so you are ready for the ride of your life.

Meet Your New Close Friends.

“Who knew in those 7 days of cycling you would inherit a family. ESR family for life.”Maurice A.

“You will have yourself another family. Ride with others but ride by yourself…you’ll have to dig in and it’ll all make sense.”Nicholas R.

At the beginning of the Empire State Ride, a group of strangers begins their journey across New York. By the time the riders cross the finish line, they have made lifelong friendships. And nothing will break that bond.


“Enjoy the moment and the great sights and people around you. It doesn’t matter if you ride 12 mph or 20 you are moving forward for a great cause.”Daisy H.

Look at the bigger picture. You are completing a ride of a lifetime to advance cancer research. Cycling is a celebration of health. We must do our part to end cancer. 


“Started as a “me” thing. Ended as a “we” thing.”Chris H.


“Putting yourself out there, challenging yourself and supporting a cause will inspire others to do the same.” 

– David V.

Road warriors are courageous. Choosing to ride the Empire State Ride is choosing to lead. Your hard work contributes to the world of cancer research and the patients at Roswell Park. 

Don’t forget your butt!

“Develop your chafing prevention protocol early and stick with it.”Chris H.

Saddle sores hurt. We suggest training for a long-distance ride, as much as possible, and finding the saddle that works for you. 

“Extra strength Desitin = Liquid Gold.”Michelle B. 

The food is fantasitic.

“Snacks!”Jose V.

Everything you need to keep you going on the road will be provided with a smile from our team. 

“I learned I can gain weight over the same seven days I rode 540+ miles. The food was excellent!”Jim M.

You have been warned. Riders enjoy catered breakfast and dinner every day

Everything you need to know about the 2021 Empire State Ride

The Empire State Ride is back for 2021 and we’re ready to advance cancer research from the seat of our bike. We missed being on the road with all of our incredible road warriors and we can’t wait to get back to changing lives, either together riding across New York State or virtually during the 500+ Mile Challenge.

So, ready to tackle this bucket list item? Here’s what you need to know. 

The OPtions

ESR rider

There are two registration options available for all riders: weeklong and virtual. Weeklong riders commit to riding all seven days (from July 25 until July 31, 2021), from NYC to Niagara Falls and fundraising the required $3,500 minimum. The route, which will include exact mileage and elevation gains, will be finalized in early 2021. Our team is working with state officials and will be following CDC and New York State guidelines to keep everyone safe. 

If you’re not feeling comfortable coming out to an in-person experience but still want to participate, the 500+ Mile Challenge is perfect for you. There’s no registration fee or fundraising requirement, and you can train to ride 500+ miles in your hometown. This is a great way to get a feel for what the Empire State Ride is like without the commitment. 

The Fundraising

ESR Facebook Integration on laptop

If you’re a little intimidated about having to fundraise, we have a ton of tips and tools to make it easier on you.

First, kick off your efforts by making a self donation. Then, let all your family, friends and colleagues know that you’re fundraising for cancer research. Promote it on social media and email everyone in your address book. Don’t forget to personalize your fundraising dashboard, download our mobile app (available on the App Store and Google Play) and integrate your fundraiser with Facebook.

The Experience

ESR group photo

When you join team #ESR21, you’ll be supported on and off the road – by both fellow riders and our staff. The Empire State Ride is fully supported. What does that mean exactly? As a rider, you’ll get access to:

  • Bike mechanics and repair support
  • Rest stops every 15-20 miles
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner options for all dietary restrictions
  • First-aid trained staff
  • Support & gear buses to pick you up if you need some help
  • Luggage truck
  • Camping accommodations
  • Showers and restrooms
  • Access to a private Facebook group to meet fellow riders
  • Training tips
If you’re taking on the virtual challenge, you’ll get access to all the same online tools. We are here to support you – no matter where you are located. 

No matter which option you choose, the Empire State Ride is the perfect chance to challenge yourself while advancing cancer research. Our road warriors are unstoppable on their mission to help end cancer – become a road warrior and join us on our adventure. 

8 New Bright Ideas Take Flight Thanks to Donor Giving

Dr. Ethan Abel headshot

PANCREATIC CANCER

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers because there are few treatments that are effective against it. With the help of this grant award, a new study will explore how a poorly understood protein called HNF1A promotes this cancer’s resistance to drugs targeting the protein KRAS, which is believed to drive more than 90% of all pancreatic cancers. It will also determine whether drugs called BET- inhibitors could improve the effectiveness of current treatments and save more lives from this deadly disease.

“Understanding and Overcoming HNF1A- Driven Drug Resistance in Pancreatic Cancer,” led by Ethan Abel, PhD,"

led by Ethan Abel, PhD, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology

METASTATIC BREAST AND PANCREATIC CANCERS

Metastatic breast and pancreatic cancers are among the leading causes of cancer death in the United States. This study will investigate the effectiveness of a two-drug combination that has never been tested before. It will selectively target breast and pancreatic cancers that have a genetic alteration in a tumor suppressor called p53. With the data generated, researchers can launch a phase 1 clinical trial to test this new regimen, with the goal of improving patient outcomes and saving more lives from these devastating diseases.

“Selective Synthetic Lethality Strategy for p53-Deficient Breast and Pancreatic Cancers,”

led by Andrei Bakin, PhD, Department of Cancer Genetics and Genomics
Dr. Andrei bakin headshot

TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER

Dr. Anna Bianchi-Smiraglia Headshot

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive type of cancer, with high incidence of metastatic progression. Understanding how tumors escape the primary cancer site to form distant lesions will help begin to prevent this spread. Roswell Park researchers have discovered a fundamental connection between the metabolism of GTP — a building block of our nucleic acids — and the metastatic process. This grant will allow for close investigation aimed at understanding how a rate-limiting enzyme for GTP production supports invasion, with the ultimate goal of developing novel ways to prevent deadly metastasis.

“Novel Interactions at the Cell Membrane of the GTP Biosynthetic Enzyme Inositol Monophosphate Dehydrogenase 2 (IMPDH2) Control Tumor Invasiveness,”

led by Anna Bianchi-Smiraglia, PhD, Department of Cell Stress Biology

Unfortunately, there are currently no targeted therapies for TNBC patients, and the majority patients become resistant to chemotherapy. Researchers have detected a cancer-specific energy-generating enzyme that is very active in aggressive TNBC. When this enzyme activity is elevated, TNBC patients experience the worst outcomes of recurrence and metastasis. If we find strategies to inhibit this powerful metabolic enzyme, we can potentially discover new ways to combat TNBC recurrence or metastasis.

“Targeting Metabolic Enzyme PFKFB4 in Triple Negative Breast Cancer,”

led by Subhamoy Dasgupta, PhD, Department of Cell Stress Biology
Dr. Dasgupta Headshot
Dr. Gandhi Headshot

We know that TNBC patients who have no remaining signs of cancer after their first treatment regimen (known as pCR, or pathologic complete response) have improved survival rates overall. But they only comprise 25%-35% of TNBC patients. Through a phase 1 clinical trial, we will test a new combination of medications that we believe will produce an increased rate of pCR, better prognoses and decreased need for more intensive chemotherapy. The results will enable us to pursue national grant funding that will allow us to conduct further clinical trials of this drug combination.

“Mobilizing the Immune System to Reduce the Need for Chemotherapy and Improve Outcomes in Triple Negative Breast Cancer,”

led by Shipra Gandhi, MD, Department of Medicine

One of the factors determining how tumors grow is a protein known as the cellular gatekeeper: p53 tumor suppressor. But it also is frequently mutated and either is inactivated or becomes a tumor promoter in cancer, including 65%-85% of TNBCs. Researchers seek to shed light on how another protein, known as PEPD, could be used to trigger mutated p53’s tumor-suppressing actions. This research could revolutionize understanding of the biology and regulation of p53 mutants, identify a novel therapeutic strategy in cancers and generate data important for obtaining national funding for further research to develop PEPD-based therapeutic strategies in cancer.

“Reactivating p53 Mutants for Cancer Treatment by Targeting PEPD,”

led by Yuesheng Zhang, MD, PhD, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Dr. Zhang headshot

The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation has awarded over 500 grants to promising research studies thanks to donors like you.

BREAST CANCER IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN

Dr. Higgins headshot

Black women who develop breast cancer have poorer prognoses than white women with the disease and are more likely to develop estrogen-receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer, which is harder to treat. This may be partly due to having multiple children and a lower rate of breastfeeding, which could result in abnormal cells accumulating in breast tissue. The hypothesis is that when these cells become cancerous, they will develop into ER- breast cancer. The results will reinforce education initiatives and hopefully lead to new preventative measures for women who don’t breastfeed.

“Investigating the Role of Breastfeeding in Preventing Aggressive Breast Cancer,”

led by Michael Higgins, PhD, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Black women who develop breast cancer have poorer prognoses than white women with the disease and are more likely to develop estrogen-receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer, which is harder to treat. This may be partly due to having multiple children and a lower rate of breastfeeding, which could result in abnormal cells accumulating in breast tissue. The hypothesis is that when these cells become cancerous, they will develop into ER- breast cancer. The results will reinforce education initiatives and hopefully lead to new preventative measures for women who don’t breastfeed.

“Investigating the Role of Breastfeeding in Preventing Aggressive Breast Cancer,”

led by Michael Higgins, PhD, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology

- Dr.Zhang

Nutrition Tips for Cyclists

Hello again ESR riders.

Our world as we know it has changed since I wrote the last blog. There’s so much uncertainty in what will develop in the next couple of months and the challenges we will be faced with. But in the midst of it all is the certainty of our commitment to the ESR’s mission, our health and well-being. So, let’s move forward and not let what is out of our control interfere with all the things we can control. As of today, ESR is happening and we continue to prepare our mind and body for the challenge.

Nutrition and the Empire State Ride 22 Week Training Plan

The focus of this blog is nutrition but first I want to briefly go over the next training block of the ESR 22 Week Training Plan.

Nutrition for Endurance Training

Now let’s get into nutrition … fuel for your machine.

The primary goal of the training diet is to provide nutritional support to allow the athlete to stay healthy and injury-free while maximizing the functional and metabolic adaptations to a periodized exercise program that prepares him or her to better achieve the performance demands of their event.

Athletes need to consume energy that is adequate in amount and timing of intake during periods of high-intensity and/or long duration training to maintain health and maximize training outcomes. Low energy availability can result in unwanted loss of muscle mass; menstrual dysfunction and hormonal disturbances; sub-optimal bone density; an increased risk of fatigue, injury, and illness; impaired adaptation and a prolonged recovery process.

The following charts will help guide you to consume the right amount of daily carbohydrates, carbohydrates during exercise and daily protein to maximize the training adaptations of the ESR 22 Week Training Plan.

Moving into the Tempo Interval Training Block

The next 3-week block of training begins Monday, March 23 after the recovery week you’re in now. The goal of this block is to begin increasing your aerobic capacity with interval training. With this kind of work, we begin to train your Glycolytic Energy System. ‘Tempo Intervals’, as described in the Table 7.2 Summary of the Six Key Cycling Workouts, are the first level of intensity you will do in this plan. This level of intensity should result in labored breathing from about the middle to the end of the prescribed interval time. Please refer to Table 7.1 Workouts, RPE, and Breathing Rate to guide you to the right intensities.

The rest of your workouts will be in that nice and easy conversation pace Endurance Miles zone and continuing to develop good pedaling mechanics with some Fast Pedaling (FP) intervals.

Daily Carbohydrate Needs for Fuel and Recovery

 

Carbohydrates – During Exercise

Carbohydrate ingestion during exercise can improve exercise performance even during shorter duration, higher intensity exercise (for example, approximately 1 h at 75 % of maximal oxygen uptake; VO2max).” (1. Jakendrup)

Now that we begin the level of intensity that requires glycolytic energy metabolism, we need to make sure we replenish the fuel in our muscles during training. For this type of work, carbohydrates will be your primary source of energy. To estimate the amount of carbohydrates we need for the work we have to take into account the duration (and intensity) of exercise. The table below is a guideline to help make sure you have enough fuel for the workouts.

Please note that these recommendations are for well-trained athletes. Aspiring athletes may need to adjust these recommendations downwards.

 

Carbohydrates – During Exercise

Current data suggest that dietary protein intake necessary to support metabolic adaptation, repair, remodeling, and for protein turnover generally ranges from 1.2 to 2.0 g/kg/d. Daily protein intake goals should be met with a meal plan providing a regular spread of moderate amounts of high-quality protein across the day.

At 1.5 g/kg/d, the middle of the range, this is what you would need to consume daily based on body weights of 125-200lbs:

Daily Protein Needs for Adaption and Recovery

Recommendations are currently to consume 20-25g of protein per meal. This is the maximum amount of protein your body can use for protein synthesis at one time. Amounts greater than this will just be stored as energy in your body, a.k.a. fat.

So, the key to maximizing protein benefits is to consume 20-25g, 4-6 times per day with at least 3 hours in between each consumption.

Nutrition itself does not make you fitter on the bike. What it does however is provide significant contributions to the adaptations we are trying to achieve from training.

Train right, eat well and be well!

CTS Coach Charlie Livermore

References:

  1. Asker Jeukendrup, A step Towards Personalized Sports Nutrition: Carbohydrate Intake During Exercise, Sports Med (2014) 44 (Suppl 1): S25-S-33
  2. MEDICINE & SCIENCE IN SPORTS & EXERCISE 0195-9131/16/4803-0543/0

Roles Reversed: Meet The Osts

When you spend a few minutes with Darwin and Mary Ost, it doesn’t take long to see their marriage is still as exciting today as it was 25 years ago. Darwin and Mary are best friends who spend most of their time laughing together and raising a beautiful family.

In 2019 Darwin participated in his first Empire State Ride. With Mary as his cheerleader, Darwin absolutely crushed his first year, raising over $6,000 for cancer research at Roswell Park. Shortly after returning from the ESR, it was Darwin’s turn to be the cheerleader for Mary as she received the words that no one ever wants to hear.

Darwin and Mary Ost photo
Darwin Ost with bike

Her journey began in May 2019, when she started experiencing back pain. As the pain progressed, Mary sought help from doctors, but initially no one was able to find anything. Eventually her family practitioner sent her to a general surgeon for a lipoma on her back, thinking that could be the source of the pain. The general surgeon did not agree and sent Mary for an MRI. Two days later she had the test, and within hours she received a call instructing her to go directly to the emergency room at Buffalo General Medical Center. The doctors came in and informed her that she had a destructive mass on her spine, and she would be admitted. After biopsies were completed, Mary was released to go home on bed rest. One week after being admitted to the hospital, Mary was informed she had large B cell lymphoma.

Mary ost

After her diagnosis, Mary called Roswell Park right away. Within a few hours of that phone call, she was informed that she had several appointments scheduled for the following week. “Monday, we met with Dr. Suchitra Sundaram in the lymphoma clinic, then a whirlwind week where a PET scan, CT scan, port installation and the first cycle of chemo were performed,” Mary said. “They informed me that I would be on R-CHOP for treatment and that there were six cycles, each three weeks apart. After the sixth treatment there was an additional three weeks when we waited for a third PET scan and then the results.”

When we asked how she got through her diagnosis, Mary described herself as a jokester. “When my husband had just brought me home from that initial stay at Buffalo General, I started cracking jokes about ‘having the cancers.’” Throughout her entire cancer journey, Mary’s positivity held strong. “I just set my mind that it was no big deal; so what, I am sick; they know what they are doing, and I will be fixed.

“I was told I was in remission and rang the bell on February 13.”

Mary will be welcoming our riders home as they cross the finish line this year. She does not have the words to express how grateful she is for the 250+ cyclists who will be riding across the state and raising money for patients like her. For now, Mary leaves us with her mantra: “Have fun and be awesome.”

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