Spartan Reads: The Cool Impossible

By: Kristine Iotte

Spartan Reads is a new series that provides Spartan Nation with both suggestions and reviews of books that Spartan Staff, Racers, and Joe DeSena have enjoyed. These books reveal what the Spartan lifestyle is all about. We raced through them and now we want to share them with you.

Book: The Cool Impossible

Author: Eric Orton

Overview:  The Cool Impossible is a well-written blend of technical content focused on optimal performance and injury prevention, mixed with the essence of everything that is joyful about running. It has the inspiring qualities of Born to Run (the foreward was written by Christopher McDougall), with opinions on human movement similar to the first Spartan Read, Move Your DNA. Orton’s primary goal is to improve running technique, which is beneficial in multiple ways: running performance, whole-body muscular balance, and preventing (and treating!) overuse injuries related to running. His step-by-step plans are easy to follow and help build an athletic foundation from the ground-up, or should I say “foot-up.”

Throughout his career Orton has successfully coached a multitude of athletes that thought chronic injuries were the inevitable end of a running career, or that they just weren’t “meant” to run. He believes everyone is meant to run and wants to share his methods so everyone can experience running as it should be; as a natural, enjoyable, and empowering movement. In his opinion, if your muscles are tight or you experience common running-related issues such as IT band pain, etc., then the more traditional methods of treatment will not work as they only treat the problem on the surface —the real culprit is improper running technique and muscular imbalance, which are exactly what he aims to improve.

Why Spartans will appreciate it: Running is a big part of Spartan racing, and Orton has seen minor running technique changes lead to drastic improvements in performance. A program that will help you race faster, and stay out of the physical therapist’s office? It is definitely something worth reading about!