Tips to get ready for Race on the Thames

Amanda Crawford

We’re excited for Race on the Thames, our exclusive version of the nearly 200-year old The Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge’s Boat Clubs. Ours is on the same traditional Tideway course but you also get to go head-to-head on it, along with our two boats full of Hydrow Athletes and other notable rowers. 

To get you geared up for this nearly 22-minute race (our longest ever!), our Director of Fitness and Hydrow Athlete Pete Donohoe as well as Hydrow Athlete Aquil Abdullah have put together these tips. Keep in mind, this is an endurance race — it can help you improve your cardiovascular endurance and overall fitness, but it’s quite different from sprint racing. Use these recommendations to prepare so that you perform well and feel your best when we add this race to your workout library on Wednesday, March 30th at 5 am ET.

1. Use our Baseline Assessment to measure your current fitness level1.Use our Baseline Assessment to measure your current fitness level

If you haven’t already, consider using Hydrow’s Baseline Assessment, which is a maximum effort row, staying at a rhythm 26 for five minutes. Once you take it, we’ll send over your split ranges via email to clearly show what to target during the race. 

Keeping your ranges in mind during the Race on the Thames will help you to pace yourself so you can leave the racecourse feeling your best. You can find the Baseline Assessment in your library by filtering for a 5-minute Drive.

2. Break up the race with intervals

It’s important not to give this race your maximum effort right out of the gate or you risk running out of energy (and motivation!) part way through. Instead, try breaking up the race into 5-minute intervals with splits or rhythms you’d like to target in each leg. If you’re just starting out with longer workouts, you might consider 3 minutes at your jog pace, followed by 1 minute at your run pace. “If you find yourself wandering, come back to the small wins and try to set a goal for 2 to 3 minutes at a time,” says Aquil. 

3. You can always return to your breath and form

“Remember, not every race is all out. You should approach this race one stroke at a time because each one counts and gets you closer to your goal,” says Peter. “As you feel your legs tiring, you can always take 3-4 deep breaths to relax your shoulders and focus on your technique. Returning to this baseline, and focusing on breathing and form, will help center you so you can cross the finish line strong.” 

4. Finishing is a win!

Race on the Thames is an exciting time to come together with your Hydrow crew and take part in one of rowing’s most storied traditions. Regardless of whether you choose to race it, or hide the leaderboard and simply enjoy the experience, finishing the race and earning your badge is absolutely worth celebrating. Team Hydrow is cheering you on every stroke of the way.  

Get extra inspiration from fellow Members

As you use these tips to prepare for the big race, help inspire (and be inspired by) other Hydrow Members in our Facebook Training Camp. Encourage each other and share your excitement for Race on the Thames! For more on the race, and why it means so much to us at Hydrow, read more here.