The Great Thames Row – Blog 9 – A tick tock rhythm

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tgtr logoThe latest in a series of blogs provided by Naomi Riches – building up to The Great Thames Row, an attempt to set a record for being the fastest woman to row 165 miles along the length of the River Thames, whilst raising funds for The full archive of related blogs can be found here:

naomi blog 9May saw the first of my long paddles, well just 4 hours actually and if you look at that in relation to TGTR it’s not much, but I gotta start somewhere.

I have spent a few months building up the fitness, working for 80, 100, 120 minutes on the rowing machine and since Jacqui and John agreed to write me a programme we have been looking at the intensity of the training. What do I have to do to keep going for a very long time, to get as much speed as possible for as little effort as possible?  What we decided on was heart rate no higher than 135 and working at around 22 strokes per minute, some might argue that is a bit of a tick tock rhythm but so far it is working.  

The first 3 hours of the long row felt great!  I did get a little excited though and go off too hard with my heart rate too high for the first couple of kilometres, but once I settled down into that easy rhythm it was no problem to maintain.  After three hours things started to ache, mainly my lower back and my shoulders and as expected my hands were starting to sting a little.

Another long row in June, 6-8 hours I think.  YIKES!!  😎

Also this month The Kings Head Cricket team from Little Marlow where educated on, and then played Blind Cricket.  Their opponents were The Berkshire Stags cricket team and it was fascinating!  At the end of the day and a lovely BBQ, The Kings Head team, who have been raising money for us for a while now, presented me with a cheque for £1,136… WOW!!!

We have also met a number of people who know, and I mean really know river locks and how they work, we found these remarkable people on a trip to Lechlade and the start of TGTR2016­­­.   lovely people from Farringdon Rotary Club and from the local River User Group have offered help… opening the first 10 locks, arranging an event for the start of the row and being the scout boat for the first few hours.  Liz and I left feeling that suddenly the road ahead was a little clearer and we now had far less to do.

There are less than 100 days to go and I am just humbled by the amount of help we have received so far from so many people… THANKYOU!!!

If you would like to know how you can get involved in this, please contact us at and we can send you all the information you might need.


Twitter: @TGTR2016   @INvision_buzz    @NaomiRichesMBE 

The full archive of related blogs can be found here:

Article author: Paul Merchant

About the author: Founded in its original version back in 2000 - yes the internet DID exist back then. Brought up in Marlow, went to school here, now has children at the same schools. Quite clearly loves all things Marlow - hence spending over 2 decades doing this!

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