The Cool Impossible: The Coach from "Born to Run" Shows How to Get the Most from Your Miles-And From Yourself
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The Cool Impossible: The Coach from "Born to Run" Shows How to Get the Most from Your Miles-And From Yourself

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  176 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Featured in the bestselling book Born to Run, coach and performance guru Eric Orton has spent a lifetime learning and thinking about running and about the limitless possibilities of the human body and mind. In The Cool Impossible, Orton shares his wealth of knowledge in an inspiring step-by-step guide that will open up a new world of achievement for runners of all levels o...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by NAL Hardcover (first published April 2nd 2013)
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Words. Seriously. So many words. In some ways this was an easy book to review, in others it was very, very difficult. Why? Because I was all in from the first page. Frankly, I was all in before I even opened it up. Back in January I reviewed Born to Run by Chris McDougall and I was hooked. I had already started to look into minimalist running and was starting to transition over to Vibrams, so that book reinforced what I was already thinking. I was also already working on Good Form Running, which...more
A quick and fun read, but requires a solid commitment to put into action. And I'm committed! This is the last book of a self-made trilogy (Eat and Run, Born to Run, The Cool Impossible). The author Eric Olton was Chris McDougall's trainer for his epic transition from lumbering giant to nimble runner. Eric has been the trainer for many world class runners and triathletes. His book is a mix of mental philosophy, story telling, and a "how to book" for transitioning to natural running form. I'm hook...more
excellent book the whole thing through in a few sittings , but it is a book I will reference over and over.
Don't be afraid to pick this up if you are not a long distance runner. After injuries and a couple years of not running steadily , my goal is simply to work up to a 5k and I still found the book more than helpful.
The foot/ankle stability exercises, lower and upper body strength exercises, and very detailed (semi-customized) running program are quite helpful. Very likely to improve one's strength,efficiency,endurance, running form--and reduce injuries.
Unlike many of the reviews I enjoyed ready the Jackson Hole Vacation training part --- it kept me reading it verses merely browsing the charts / exercises etc... Or to details his training schedule for getting anyone able to run better than expected. He focuses on the physiology of strengthening the little muscles (especially in our feet) to prevent injury. This is something I believe would make a difference. That being said the equipment needed is expensive and I doubt I'll ever put his trainin...more
Andrew Frueh
Four stars for the content, less for the presentation. This was certainly a book that needed to be written. I was like scores of other people who finished Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, ready to change their running style forever, but a bit lost on where to start. I began by going barefoot at the local track, but quickly realized the transition wasn't quite that simple. I eventually found ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortl...more
Dana Larose
Hard to rate this book. I thought the writing was frequently cheesy. Orton presents the book in second person with a story about how you're hanging out with him and he's coaching you personally. It felt a bit like filler. However, it does really make me want to visit Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It sounds gorgeous! But I guess what matters is the running advice, and there Orton has what sounds to me like a reasonable hypothesis.

He feels most running injuries are caused by weak feet, muscle imbalances...more
Library book, but will probably order a copy of my own. While I wasn't totally crazy about the narrative (the book follows what he'd tell you in a seven day personal coaching visit to Jackson, WY), I think there's more than enough useful meat there to justify a purchase.

For me anyway. I'm coming off a six-month illness that descended after I finished my first marathon, and that forced me (doctor's orders) to stop training. Plus some Achilles tendonitis that completely sucks. So now I'm at exactl...more
Follows on very well from Born to Run and is pretty much the how-to version. The author imagines that you, the reader, have come to his hometown in Wyoming to train with him for a week and there are descriptions of the stunning landscape which really set the scene and inspire. The focus is on foot strength, core stability, and running form. Then there is a substantial training programme which is personalised according to the results of two heart rate and speed tests, and also sections on nutriti...more
Helen Dunn
This is interesting if unpractical advice! I find the style a bit irritating "picture yourself running up a hill in Jackson Hole..." but overall I think some of the exercises are interesting and worth thinking about adding into my life.
I looked into buying the slant board and other stability do-dad from the author's website and had a giant case of sticker shock! So...unless I can find something less than $89 to replicate a slant board, I think I will probably never do any of these exercises.

Good instructions for running form, good points about foot strength, and some helpful exercises. Unfortunately, there was also a lot of "fluff" and the book felt really stretched for the amount of material. Usually I'm the type to read every word of a book, but I skimmed through many long sections of the present-tense talk about training in Jackson's Hole.
Great book. . .as a start. It could have used a lot more. Hopefully Mr. Orton will write some follow-up books.
Carol Sorensen
If you've read Born to Run, this is a good self-coaching book to train for distance running.
Great. I've been running for 15 years with the last 5 with chronic shin splints. After trying podiatry, gait analysis, physio, stretching, strengthening, ice packs, compression, rest, elevation and foam rolling I was still struggling to run fast or often without flaring up shin pain and sometimes knee pain.
Having been enthused by the techniques and approach outlined in the book I've started to apply some of it and I'm already in much less pain and able to break my 5k pb! I have more to apply fro...more
Definitely some great tips and plans in here. I like how the plan he lays out is flexible and based on your current level. Hoping to start soon.
Angela Wolff
The style was a little odd, I don't really like the make believe element where I get to pretend I've actually flown over to Jackson spend a week training with Eric but the content was excellent.
I've built my slant board and I'm ready to wobble and I can't wait to do the heart rate tests so I can start the full program.
I love the way the program is customised right the way through for the 4 minute miler to the 10 minute miler and to be honest it would be easy enough to adjust if you were even slo...more
No nonsense book about improving running efficiency, developing strength, burning fat, raising lactic acid thresholds, getting faster and a system of training runs focused on speed and heart rate zones. Especially liked the nutrition chapter and his thoughts on natural eating and avoiding processed foods - especially sugar that he essentially likens to legal crack. I can see this helping a lot of runners who've hit a plateau. Ready to go for my Cool Impossible!!
The Casual Librarian
Borrowed it from the library, had to buy it.
Brian Walker
Orton shares page after page of exercises on his specially designed slant board, stability disk, and ball coupled with more pages of training schedules based on your current heart rate and pace per mile. But, what caught my attention was his mental preparation and deconstruction of perceived limits in the later chapters of the book.
It is a training book but it is more. This book is a conversation with Eric Orton on what are your true goals and what is holding you back. His plan is about what YOU want to accomplish and how much effort YOU want to put into YOUR goals. Eric gives you all the pieces of the plan to get you to your goals, now you just have to do it.
Mark Law
A little hokey at times with the Jackson Hole story. However, the running advice seems sound and I going to give it a shot. So the real value is yet to be determined.

I hope he got some money from the Jackson Hole visitors organization as he sells it as a destination.
Marc Geraldez
Very interesting read. Love the perspective in which the book was was unique. I've been running for several years now and like the approach Eric takes. I've decided to try out his program and see where it takes me.
António Rodrigues
Its hard to enumerate all the feelings that this book provided. A must have for atletes training by themselves. Great guidance and motivation.
Nancy Dardarian
WOuld have been a much better purchase in book form than for my kindle but it helped me get in the mood to get out there.
Chris Giovagnoni
A few practical tips buried deep within a new age writing style that diminishes the value of the book
Amie Adams
It's good. Not sure I'm completely sold on his program, but good thoughts on training and an easy read.
Matthew Folds
Pretty good. A little more technical than I expected.
Jun 19, 2013 Emma marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running
Reco by judy
Stijn De Meyere
Stijn De Meyere marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2014
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Orton's approach to training has been featured in Men’s Health, Esquire, Men’s Journal and Ski Magazine; specific workouts have been featured on ESPN’s Cold Pizza.

As the former Director of Fitness and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, I’m a certified Functional Training Specialist, a Certified Sports Hypnotist, and hold coaching certifications from both USA Triathlon and USA Cycli...more
More about Eric Orton...

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