Tag: what to wear

HOCR: What to wear to race in

Coxing Racing

HOCR: What to wear to race in

I get this question a lot in the lead up to this weekend, especially from novice coxswains, masters coxswains, and everyone who isn’t from Boston/the Northeast. It’s not usually warm enough to wear just a long sleeve and trou or tights at HOCR but thanks to global warming, who knows – depending on when you race, this year it might be. I think I’ve worn a varying amount of layers each time I’ve raced (this year will be my sixth) but this might be my lightest year yet.

Related: Head of the Charles

Now obviously if you’re racing with your school club or team then you’ll have “official” gear to wear but if, like me, you can basically show up and race in whatever you want (#mastersDGAF), hopefully this will give you an idea of what to bring.

This year was particularly annoying because I’ve never had to actually pack for HOCR before, which is the downside to living 220 miles away from the river now instead of 6. The urge to overpack was strong. Above is what I settled on though – low 60s at race time, mid 70s during the day. This will obviously fluctuate a lot each year depending on the weather (maybe I’ll make this a recurring series…) so consider this only applicable for weirdly-out-of-season warm-ish temperatures like the ones we’ll be treated to this weekend.

Image via // WBUR


Question of the Day

Hi, your blog is really helpful! I have a kind of strange question, but should female rowers wear anything under their uni/trou? Thank you so much!

It’s definitely a personal preference. I know some women that do just because a) hygiene and b) they find it to be more comfortable but I also know some that don’t because they think it’s uncomfortable and/or awkward to be walking around with very obvious VPL. Under Armour, C9 at Target, etc. sell great athletic underwear (or at the very least have solid seamless options) if you want to wear something but don’t want it to be super obvious. Don’t forget Amazon too – you can find plenty of options on there for pretty solid prices. Thongs are definitely the way to go because then you don’t have to worry about everything getting all bunched up (hence the uncomfortable-ness) but you should go with whatever’s most comfortable for you.

Coxing High School Q&A Training & Nutrition

Question of the Day

Hey! I love your blog. I have a couple of quick questions.

1) I have been rowing bow (port) in our starboard stroked bow-loader four boat. When ever we start to row and get to the drive part of the stroke my left ankle keeps cramping up and I was wondering if you had any way to stop this from happening?

2) Like I said before, I row bow and because our coxswain doesn’t have a cox box, nobody but me can hear her when she is facing forward (the way she is supposed to be looking) so she often turns towards us and the coach keeps telling her to turn around, but then the problem is that nobody can hear her. The girl who coxed this boat last season was really good at projecting her voice but the new cox is not. Do you have any advice for her?

3) I was looking at your what to wear blog posts and I was wondering what you think rowers should wear in the rain?

4) I hate running, I always cramp up two steps in and can’t breathe by the thirty second mark. My coach is really into running and running stairs. I don’t want to be that person who doesn’t run with everybody else because I don’t like it, but do you have any advice about making running less painful?

5) What is a good snack to have right before practice if it starts at 3 or 4 and goes till 6, but lunch is at 11:30? I always get so hungry right in the middle of pieces!

Sorry this is so long! Thanks!

The only thing that I can think of that could be causing this is the position of your foot stretchers. If the angle is too steep or too shallow then that could be putting a weird amount of stress on your tendons, causing your ankle to cramp up. I’d mention it to your coach and see if he can look at the stretchers to see if that’s the problem. If it’s not then it’s probably a flexibility issue. You should be stretching before practice for at least 10 minutes so if you’re not I’d start doing that, even if it means doing it on your own. Ankle pushes are a stretch our guys do that might help – it’s basically a mini-squat where you stand on one leg and bend your knee about 30 degrees or so until you feel a stretch up through your Achilles before pushing back up. (If you don’t have very good balance you can find a wall to put your hand(s) on to help keep you stable.)

Your coxswain needs a cox box. Obviously it’s not your responsibility to make that happen but seriously, I really don’t understand how coaches can send coxswains out without one and think they’re going to have a worthwhile and effective practice, let alone a safe one. Telling everyone to just listen is all well and good until you factor in the noise from the oarlocks, the boat moving through the water, the slides, the launch, the wind, car traffic, etc. Being in a bowloader also presents the issue of the coxswain’s voice not going straight at the rowers (like it does in an eight) which makes it even harder for them to hear what they’re saying. Even a perfectly silent crew would have a hard time hearing their coxswain in that situation. It’s not safe being out without one, plain and simple. To answer your question, the only advice I have is to find a cox box. I know that’s not the most helpful answer but that’s really the only solution to the problem.

When you’re rowing in the rain you’ve basically gotta accept that you and your clothes are going to get wet no matter what (which really isn’t that much different than a normal day on the water…). As long as you’re not wearing cotton, which is pretty much the worst thing you can wear while rowing regardless of the weather, you can pretty much wear exactly what you’d wear on an otherwise “dry” day. If you’ve got a splash jacket that you can throw on to at least keep your core warm and mostly dry(ish) then that’s a good thing to do if you know it’s going to be raining during practice. Like I said though, unless it’s just sprinkling it’s not a matter of if you’ll get wet but when.

It sounds like you’re just out of shape. (I only say that because I know I’m out of shape and that’s how I feel too.) It’s just like steady state on the erg though, the better developed your cardio system gets the “easier” it is. You’ve just gotta push through it and keep going. Feeling winded is obviously a natural side effect of being out of shape (even people who are incredibly fit get winded at the start if they haven’t worked out for a week or two) but it could also be a result of asthma (speaking from experience, this is the worst…). Even if this isn’t something you’ve been diagnosed with before it’s worth checking in with your doctor just to be sure you haven’t developed it. I had several friends in high school who were all incredible athletes but all developed some form of asthma that wasn’t diagnosed by their doctors until they started training for crew.

I used to always leave a box of granola bars in my car that I could grab before practice so if you’re a fan of Clif bars then I’d definitely recommend buying a box or two and stashing them in your car, your locker, etc. so you can grab one before you leave school or on your way to practice. Bananas, PB + apples, a bagel, yogurt + fruit + granola, etc. are all tasty options too.

Coxing Q&A

Question of the Day

What are some items and pieces of clothing that you think all coxes should have at indoor practices (normal ones and tanks) as well as in the boat once we are on the water again? I’m trying out for a new team (switching from rowing to coxing) and I want to be prepared and give a good impression of that to the coach.

This clip from GIRLS pretty much explains my stance on how coxswains should dress at practice.

I can’t imagine the coach is really going to care what you wear but to answer your question, just keep it casual. I pretty much live in leggings and pullovers or some iteration of that, unless I’ve gotta go somewhere right after practice, in which case I’ll wear normal clothes. Our coxswains all do the same, if they’re not wearing sweatpants and a tshirt they’ll usually wear whatever they plan on wearing to class, unless they want to bike or workout while the guys are erging. It used to bug me when coxswains would wear “normal” clothes to practice because you’re pretty much just asking to leave with your nice clothes smelling awful and you just look out of place but honestly, wear whatever you want. Stop by an American Apparel if you have to.

Related: What to wear

Once you’re on the water what you wear is going to depend on what the weather’s like. Do not be that weirdo that wears jeans and a button down while you’re coxing though. I can’t even with coxswains that do that. Check out all the “what to wear” posts though (linked in the tag above) – they cover pretty much everything.

As far as other things to have, at practice a notebook is always handy but there’s not usually much for coxswains to do when you’re inside so there’s not really anything you need to have with you.

Related: What’s the most basic gear a novice coxswain should have?

All anyone is going to care about you bringing on the water is your cox box so whatever else you bring is up to you. I’d recommend a waterproof bag with a wrench or two, a recorder, some electrical tape, and some band aids to start.

What to wear: Official visits, pt. 2

College Recruiting

What to wear: Official visits, pt. 2

Got a question this weekend about what to wear on official/unofficial visits when you’re going during the warmer months. The previous post I did on what to wear on official visits was from the fall but advice-wise, pretty much everything I said in that post applies to this one.

Between unofficial (when you’re going specifically to look at the school) and official visits (when you’re going specifically to visit the team) I don’t think there needs to be much, if any, difference in what you wear. On a scale of lounging on your couch in your underwear to an afternoon at the country club, both occasions probably warrant at least a 7ish. Unless you’re going to an open house or other semi-formal event at the school/boathouse, you’re totally fine wearing casual shorts and a t-shirt or button down.

Related: Hello! I am attending a “business casual” open house this weekend at a college that I am strongly considering. I want to make a strong impression, I was just wondering, as a coach, what do you think would be appropriate to wear? I want to look nice without looking silly or too glitzy. Thanks in advance!

Another thing for everyone to remember is to wear comfortable shoes/sandals. You’ll likely be doing a fair amount of walking so function takes precedence over form. Sunglasses and/or a hat wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Image via // @rowingblazers

College Q&A Recruiting

Question of the Day

Hello! I am attending a “business casual” open house this weekend at a college that I am strongly considering. I want to make a strong impression, I was just wondering, as a coach, what do you think would be appropriate to wear? I want to look nice without looking silly or too glitzy. Thanks in advance!

Long after you’re gone, the coaches are going to be remembering you, not your outfit. Looking nice is obviously a given but don’t forget that what’s going to leave the strongest impression is your personality, interest in the school, and what you feel you can bring to the program.

Pro tip though, don’t overthink what you’re gonna wear. The key is to pick something you’ll be comfortable in since that’ll help you project confidence in whatever situation you’re in.

I usually wear similar iterations of what’s above to job interviews or other business casual-ish events (rowing related and otherwise) and dress it up or down as necessary, either by swapping the top for a blouse and jacket or the shoes for a more casual pair of flats or sandals. I’d probably dress up a little more for schools like Harvard than I would for somewhere like Miami but it’s your call based on the environment you’ve seen when you’ve visited previously.

For shoes, stick to flats or, if the weather’s wet, snowy, etc., a pair of tall boots. If you wear any jewelry, try to keep it simple and not too flashy, noisy, or in your face. If you wear any perfume, try to keep it toned down too. You don’t want that to be what announces you when you walk in a room.

For guys, you really can’t go wrong with a button down and a nice pair of slacks or chinos. I wouldn’t completely rule out jeans as long as they’re a darker wash – anything lighter looks way too chill for something billed as “business casual”. If nicer shoes are deemed appropriate, just go for a pair of dress shoes or boots. Do not wear tennis shoes and don’t forget a belt.

What to wear: Official visits

College Recruiting

What to wear: Official visits

When dressing for a college visit, you don’t have to get all dressed up like you’re going to a job interview but you shouldn’t look like you’re running to Wal-Mart either. You are here to make an impression, after all. It’s obviously not going to be the most important thing people care about but you would be surprised how often it gets brought up.

The most important piece of advice I can give you is to dress appropriately for the weather. I can’t even begin to tell you how hard we’ve been judging some of these recruits that show up in chinos, t-shirts, sandals, and a windbreaker and then spend the entire practice on the launch freezing their asses off because shocker they didn’t check the weather before they left home and didn’t know that temps were only supposed to be in the 50s. Factor in the fact that it’s cooler on the water, plus wind, rain, etc. and you’re setting yourself up to be pretty miserable. Of course the coaches will offer you survival suits and jackets but don’t expect that to do much for you if you aren’t wearing the appropriate clothes to begin with.

When packing, choose casual, nice clothes that you can wear around campus since you’ll likely be going to a few classes and to practice but avoid wearing stuff that’s going to be out of place, like a dress or jacket and tie.

So, what should you wear? Just keep it simple – jeans, a casual shirt or sweater, and close-toed shoes. Sperry’s are a universally good choice, regardless of the season. Avoid sandals if you’re going to a morning practice and/or it’s after mid-September otherwise your feet will freeze. Top wise, a sweater or pullover of some kind would be good because it’s always cooler on the water, so you’ll definitely want the extra layer of warmth. Even if you don’t wear it the whole time, having it available to throw on while you’re on the launch would be advisable. In addition to all of that, you can never go wrong with a hat or sunglasses. Don’t forget other obvious stuff like coats, rain jackets, gloves, etc. if necessary.

As far as what to wear when you’re not at practice or on campus, you’ll most likely be spending the rest of your time at the house of the athlete(s) you’re staying with so that’s up to you.

Image via //Men’s Journal
What to wear: First day of practice

Coxing Novice Rowing

What to wear: First day of practice

Previously: What to wear: Women || What to wear: Men || Rowers || High-vis gear || Coxing in the rain

The school year is starting and over the next few weeks teams are going to start holding informational meetings for all the new novices and walk-ons. One question that I guarantee they’ll have but most likely won’t ask is “what do I wear”.

The thing is though, “what to wear” is a forgotten part of most of these meetings, mostly because we all think it’s obvious what is and isn’t the proper attire. (Remember, they don’t have drawers full of unis, tanks, and trou like we do.) I’ve seen guys show up in cargo shorts or NBA-style basketball shorts and women in tennis skirts (not kidding) or those noisy tearaway pants that we used to think were so cool to wear. Then they get annoyed because their clothes get caught in the slides and either get ripped or covered in grease.

It’s important to let everyone know ahead of time whether they need to wear athletic attire on the first day or not because it sets a precedent. It might seem like one of those things that doesn’t really matter but when you’re dealing with people who have never rowed before, are just starting high school or college, and/or don’t know anyone else on the team you don’t want to make them feel awkward or uncomfortable right off the bat by making them feel like they were left out of the loop.

Athletic leggings or shorts, a supportive sports bra, a tshirt (tech fabrics are best but you can get away with a normal tshirt, it’s just gonna get gross), and comfortable training shoes should be your go-to’s for most practices. Once you get further into the season and are issued your uni (or you buy your own) you can wear that to workout in.

Moving on to what not to wear. Hoodies aren’t great because the handle from the erg or oar can get caught in the pocket and because they can also cause you to overheat. Stick to pullovers that sit close to your body if you need an extra layer.. Same with sweatpants – they’re too heavy and can also cause you to overheat. They’ll also get caught in the seat because they’re so baggy. Also, girls, make sure you wear a good sports bra. If you’ve ever had to run while wearing a regular bra you’ll understand why.

Image via // @mitmensrowing
What to wear: Coxing in the rain


What to wear: Coxing in the rain

Previously: What to wear: Coxswains (women) || What to wear: Coxswains (men) || What to wear: Rowers || Sunglasses || High-vis gear

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. That saying is rarely more true than when you’re coxing in the rain – waterproof gear is a must, as is a hat and water-resistant/proof gloves, especially if it’s already cold out.

Even if I’ve got a survival suit on hand I still layer up with my rain jacket and pants underneath because those suits have a tendency to leak, especially if they’re old. There’s nothing worse than realizing midway through practice that your butt is soaking wet because the water that’s unknowingly been gathering in the coxswain’s seat has finally seeped through your suit.

If it’s warm out (like, mid-60s+) then I’ll usually forgo the majority of the layers and just put my rain gear on over a tshirt, leggings, and pair of sandals. Basically just use your common sense when it comes to dressing for the temperature, throw on some waterproof layers over that, and you should be all good.

Image via // @uccrowing
What to wear: High visibility gear

Coxing Rowing

What to wear: High visibility gear

Previously: What to wear: Coxswains (women) || What to wear: Coxswains (men) || What to wear: Rowers || Sunglasses

There was a day back in late October when my eight went out at 5:15am and it took our coach 20 minutes to find us because he couldn’t see us in the dark. I had a black coat and rain pants on, our boat is a black Resolute, and the batteries on the bow/stern lights were fading so the lights were pretty dim, which made us practically invisible to him.

Although ultimately it wasn’t a huge deal it’s still a safety risk to be on the water and not visible to other people. I have a high-vis running jacket that I started wearing over pullover or normal jacket and our bow-seat had a clip-on LED light that she’d put on the back of her hat, which was also high-vis. A lot of the scullers I see will also put LED lights on the back of their hats, along with wearing a runner’s vest or putting a strip of reflective tape on the back of their jackets.

#1 rule of coxing – better safe than sorry! Take precautions when you’re out on the water, even if it’s light when you go out or when you come in. If it’s going to be dark or the weather indicates that it’ll be foggy at any point during practice, make sure you have lights on your boat and are wearing something that will increase your visibility to other rowers, coxswains, and coaches who are out at the same time as you.

Image via // @sarahendershot