Patricia Carswell |

Life on the river: embracing winter rowing

This month, award-winning blogger and journalist, Patricia Carswell, shares her tips for getting through winter training in her exclusive British Rowing blog – Life on the river

The clocks have changed, the nights are drawing in and summer feels like a distant memory. And with the change in seasons and temperatures, there’s a new rhythm to rowing. We’re well and truly into head season, and judging by grumbling and dragging of feet going on around me, not everyone is fully on board with the change of season.

I find the best thing to do is fully embrace the transition into winter. Here are my top tips for making the most out of the cold season.

1 – Get properly kitted out

Being cold and wet is just miserable, so make sure you’ve got all the kit you need – this is no time for pride (or vanity, for that matter). You don’t need to spend a fortune to stay warm. You can pick up basic pogies for a modest price (there’s no shame in these – you can’t row well if you can’t feel your hands), and budget supermarkets often sell decent waterproof jackets. Walking socks can be a huge help, too (and as a bonus they help fill giant rowing shoes).

MAKE SURE YOU KEEP WARM AND ARE EASY TO SEE ON THE WATER

Can I also make a plea for visibility in the dark, winter months? I’ve seen too many near misses caused by people camouflaging themselves against the river. Get yourself something high vis, even if it’s just a hat, and everyone will be much safer.

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