Thursday, May 9, 2013

"The Cool Impossible" by Eric Orton: Review and Giveaway!



It's here!  The much anticipated book from our favorite coach from "Born to Run"!

Eric's book was just released on Tuesday May 7th, and I was fortunate enough to get to preview the book about a month ago and put together this review.. AND... stick around because I also get to give away a signed copy of The Cool Impossible to one of you!

Before a review of the book, just a little back ground:


Like many of you, I was first introduced to Eric Orton as Chris McDougall's coach in the book Born to Run.  Eric helped move Chris on from a broken runner to completing a 50 mile ultra marathon in the Copper Canyon land of the legendary Tarahumara.  Of course, I loved the book and, like many others, it pushed me into the world of running, and in particular barefoot/minimalist trail running. 



Since then, Eric launched B2R, a company focused on a training system that is comprised of footwear, strength training, running form, and nutrition.  Last year I was able to utilize this system in preparation for my first marathon, and you can read about it here. 


So.. what exactly is The Cool Impossible?  According to Eric it is "a mindset and philosophy that redefines fear, giving way to a heightened state of awareness where the only thing impossible is failure.  It is about getting back to daydreaming and creating the biggest, coolest fantasy we can think of to achieve.  When we do this, it is human nature to say I can't, or wonder if we will succeed, and, most times this "need to know" stops us because fear enters into our thoughts and keeps us "safe". But fear is necessary to achieve great things and through visualization techniques and mind performance strategies, we can learn to embrace fear, learn to love it, and be free to create anything we want for our running and in our lives. We can achieve a great deal, even the impossible, if we just stop worrying about whether we can or not."

The Cool Impossible is also a terrific book!  I struggle with book reviews because I don't want to just give away everything in it, or take lengths to explain everything, so let me just give you my overall impressions.

  1. I love that this book was written from a perspective of you the reader actually traveling to beautiful Jackson Hole to spend a week training and learning from Eric.. I REALLY want to go now. How great would that be? I could blog my experiences and... oh sorry, daydreaming :-)  
  2. This book helps to answer the "how" that you may have walked away with after reading Born to Run. 
  3. It is both a philosophical guide to learning how to change your way of thinking, as much as it is a technical "how to" guide to running, strength training, and nutrition. 
  4. It feels much like getting personal one on one training, which is pretty tricky via the written word. 
  5. Athleticism is Awareness. This is my biggest take away from the book... not just awareness of form, technique and effort, but awareness of what and how we think. The final chapters of this book nail this and delivers a strong and motivating message. 





A portion of the book is dedicated to learning how to develop foot and leg strength (such as using the slant/balance board above) and other exercises/drills specifically to strengthen and balance the right muscles for running.  Additionally, there is a fully detailed 20 week two phase program that focuses on these exercises, and a HR based running program to develop what Eric calls a "Strategic Running Foundation".  I've been integrating the strength exercises into my workouts (and using the slant balance board on conference calls!), but am going to look at trying out the running program as well...  hopefully as part of training for my next marathon.

I think what I liked most about this book is that Eric's overall philosophy just "clicks" for me. Especially his treatment of nutrition and diet.  Volumes have been written on this subject, but Eric is able to simplify it in much the same manner that I've changed my eating habits in the last several years.  For me, it's spot on advice for healthy nutrition in the real world.


So..what's my Cool Impossible?  That's right... the Leadville Trail 100.  What? Can a formerly obese guy pushing 50, with one slow marathon under his belt seriously think he can run 100 trail miles at crazy altitudes? Damn straight..  mentally I can visualize it..  and I will keep working towards it.   And what about Eric.. his Cool Impossible? Global running, or having at least one runner per household... worldwide.  How cool is that?  VERY

Ok.. thanks again for hanging with me.  Use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter to win an autographed copy of The Cool Impossible!  This contest is limited to the U.S. only, and will run until 10PM MST on Wednesday May 15th, 2013.  Good luck!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again.. and happy trails!!

Jeff
http://barefootinclined.com


25 comments:

Stacey said...

A marathon, you can only do halfs for so long!

Jeff Gallup said...

Awesome!

Anonymous said...

great review, Jeff! I am so looking forward to reading this book! Lorraine...

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to get my mitts on this book! Great review!-MuddyJ

Phillip Gibb said...

very cool :) - if I do not win I'll order it.
I't my dream; my cool impossible, to run an ultra trail this year.

ORRunner said...

I really need to read this book. Cant wait to get a copy, would be even better if it were free!

migangelo said...

to get my aerobic pace to sub 7 m/m

The itinerant archer said...

Another must have book !! Oh No, I have too many already so I'm told :o)

traceyrunstheworld said...

Looks like a great book! My cool impossible is to run an ultra in the next year or two!

WeedMercenary said...

Interesting.

My cool impossible this year is to complete the TN Ragnor Relay.

gatlinj said...

Sounds very cool!

Anonymous said...

My cool impossible is running a marathon with my wife and my two daughters before I die (TheArmandoMejia)

Jill said...

I'm smiling big right now reading you want to do the Pb100, how cool is that! After crewing for the Zion 100, I'm not sure I could ever do one, but it is exciting. Eric is a really great guy...I may have to revisit his coaching sometime if I ever decide to go down that path again.

Thanks for the review.

Martin Karl said...

To run a 50k ultra, and smile the whole time!

M. said...

Looks like a great intro to a new style of running.

Barb @ A Life in Balance said...

My dream is to run a marathon next year!

Scott Loonan said...

My dream is to run a marathon, it will be a true test of my fitness and prove to myself how far I have come. Looking to do the Marine Corps Marathon in 2014.

Jeff Gallup said...

I'm hoping to get a 50K trail race in as well! Good luck!

Jeff Gallup said...

Me too.. good luck!

Jeff Gallup said...

Ragnar looks like a ton of fun.. would love to participate in one some day.

Jeff Gallup said...

Very cool!

Jeff Gallup said...

Thanks Jill... looking forward to hearing about your Leadville adventures coming up!

Jeff Gallup said...

Yes!

Jeff Gallup said...

You can do it! I'm proof :-)

Jeff Gallup said...

Awesome Scott.. good luck!