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Jimmy Riccitello spent 20 years as one of the world’s top professional triathletes.
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Socks

December 28th, 2014

Photos

My actual 50 year old foot (this is not a 20-something foot model's foot)  - a product of decent socks.
My actual 50 year old foot (this is not a 20-something foot model's foot) - a product of decent socks.
They come in grey or black.
They come in grey or black.

Socks are one of life’s essentials.  They should be, anyway.

The right sock can minimize any number of foot issues including, but not limited to: hammer toes, ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, toe jam, bunions, corns, smelly feet, ugly feet, flat feet, duck feet, and smelly shoes.  I submit my nearly pristine 50 year old foot that doesn’t look a day over 20 (see picture at left), as an example of what can happen when you purchase and wear decent socks.

Finding the right sock, however, is not as easy as one would think.  Some sock makers put more love into their socks than others, and to further complicate matters – not every foot is the same. 

And then there’s the price issue.  $8 seems to be the norm for “quality” running/cycling socks.  I consider $8 my upper threshold for a sock purchase.  I borrowed a pair of $25 dollar socks (seriously) from a friend, and returned them two days later, with a hole in the toe, and a 10 dollar bill (and subsequently, 15 dollars more).  In my experience, $25 dollar socks are no better than $8 socks, and $8 is a lot to spend on a sock.

Similarly, a $1 sock is not nearly as good as an $8 sock.  The don’t last more than a couple months, and they retain foot smell, which eventually stinks up your shoes.  This said, there are decent options for less than $8, but as I mentioned earlier, they’re tough to find.

Lucky for you, I’ve spent the last 32 years searching the world for a worthy sock - one that’s both durable and reasonably priced. Along the way I’ve come across a few decent socks (obvious – based on my beautiful foot photo), but until recently, nothing that I’ve been willing to commit to.

Earlier this year, after hearing about my long and somewhat fruitless search for the perfect sock, Andrew Block, of Beaker Concepts, suggested I give his stockings a ride.  Considering the depth of my search, I was understandably skeptical about his confident claims regarding the awesomeness of his socks.  I’m happy to say, however, that Andrew’s confidence was justified.

Since April, I’ve been running these bad-boys through my rigorous quality control tests.  Trust me, no sock wants any part of this process.  Here’s a brief description of my protocol (Warning: graphic descriptions):  First, I refrain from clipping my toenails for at least two months. Then I wear the same pair of socks all day and all night for one week straight.  I don’t remove the socks for any reason (as an aside: it’s virtually impossible to wash your feet while wearing socks).

To make a long and gruesome story short – Andrew’s socks are the first ones to ever last longer than five days before my Raptor-like toenails burst through the front of the socks, or the stench became unbearable (whichever happened first).

Andrew’s socks received high marks in all areas including: toe-hole resiliency, stenchlessness (above and beyond normal foot funk), blister proofness, and comfortability.

Finally - a sock that has a good combination of durability and affordability.  I’m so impressed with these socks that I bought quite a few pairs and literally put my name on them.  To help you and your feet start the New Year off on the right foot (no pun intended), I’m offering a limited number of socks for $5.50 per pair (plus $2 for shipping), or three pair for $13.75 (plus $2 for shipping).

They come in two colors: grey or black, and two sizes: small/medium which will fit women, children, and men with small feet (just say they’re for your wife or kids), and large/extra-large which fit men with feet larger than size 10, and Sasquatch-like women (just say they’re for your husband).

If you’re interested, email me with color preference (you can mix and match), sizes, quantity and mailing address, and I’ll shoot you payment information and an invoice.

The “store” will close on Friday, January 9th, or when I’m out of socks - whichever happens first.  Grab a pair while they last.

Your feet will thank you!

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Exercise: Every Little Bit Counts

December 3rd, 2014

Photos

Short and sweet swim session with Lisa
Short and sweet swim session with Lisa "Rockfish" Ribes in the Trisports.com Endless pool (swimmer's treadmill, if you will).

For the better part of 30 years, I exercised 20-40 hours per week. 45-60 minute runs were the norm, and I never rode my bike for less than 90 minutes.  Like many of us, I became committed to a mindset that believed a 15-30 minute run or ride was a worthless endeavor.

In 2004, after transitioning into life with a real job (sort of) and a family, not only was it hard for me to accept that I only had time for 3-5, 30’ runs and 2-3 hours per week instead of 20-40 hours per week, but it was hard to fathom that 3-5, 30’ runs was even worth the effort.

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Thank You Kona

October 21st, 2014

Photos

Alex Zanardi
Alex Zanardi

A few years back, I completed most of the 1987 IRONMAN World Championships.  Unfortunately, I left out the most important part – the finish line.  During the process of almost finishing, I learned a couple of things.  Primarily, not finishing something that you start is a horrible feeling, and secondarily, I don’t enjoy IRONMAN distance triathlons.

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Inside The France Camp Kitchen

October 17th, 2014

France Camp, first and foremost, is about cycling.  Food and friendship, however, are a close runner up.

Cycling up and down the mountains of the French alpes inspires tales of heroism and woe (the good kind), fosters comradery and a sense of community, and whets the appetite.

The France Camp dinner table provides both the remedy for ravenousness and the pulpit for tales.  The kitchen, of course, is the source of its delicious delectables.

At the heart of the kitchen are Chefs Michael and Alex who enthusiastically combine their love of all things food and wine, to expertly prepare what I like to call, France Camp cuisine – mostly French dishes with an English flare.

Their daily interplay, occasional debates about the source or origin of the night’s creation, and their knowledge of food, wine, and local history, are a big part of the France Camp culinary experience.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the France Camp kitchen and hope that it entices you to come and ride, eat, and tell stories with us next July (click here for France Camp details).

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