Right off the bat I have to say that I disagree with Eric and Rich's assessment of this book. They wrote here that they both found it "hard to get into and as a result did not like it very much". I on the other hand found it to be engrossing, engaging and a very enjoyable to read.

Its not a how to book though it does layout Bernd's preparations, experiments with diet, his training and his stunning description of the 100km race itself, run on October 4 1981 in Chicago Illinois. The race where he set a new world record over this distance. His journey is made all the more amazing as it's in an era before the "sports drink and supplement explosion" and Bernd takes you with him on his path of discovery and enlightenment.

His observations and explorations as a young man in africa with his parents collecting insect specimens for his father. His jouney through boarding school, his achievements, failures and lessons learned on the cross country team. The lessons being learned are not those of an elite runner but of a good one that can see something in the far distance that he is yet to fully recognize.

His passion to know why and to solve very complex biological and psychological problems, the eloquence he displays as he takes these very complex biological and psychological observations making them accessable to all of us, in my opinion, makes this book one of the very best Ive read.

The way in which Bernd explores and compares the enurance qualities and deficiencies found in the animal kingdom to our own qualities and deficiencies as endurance athelets is both thought provoking, enlightening and completely engaging. 

I was hooked from the very first word and I highly recommend it.

Views: 399


You need to be a member of Eric Orton Running Academy to add comments!

Join Eric Orton Running Academy

Comment by Carolynn on January 18, 2015 at 3:11pm
Thanks Jacob for the suggestion. Just bought it on amazon. Should be great fun.
Comment by Jacob Cossairt on January 18, 2015 at 2:45pm

Carolynn, if the section on the evolution of human running interested you, you may also want to check out Daniel Lieberman's book "The story of the human body : evolution, health, and disease"

Comment by Carolynn on January 18, 2015 at 8:12am
My opinion of the book is very different from Robert's even if I did enjoy it. The first third of the book is mostly biographical and is only midly interesting (in my opinion). The second third of the book is about animal biology so it is a bit hard to get through if you are not passionnate about the endurance solutions of bees, sparrows, deer and camels...

However, around page 164, things get extremely interesting since there are many theories that are proposed to explain how and why humans slowly evolved from apes. And how running influenced this evolution. In this part of the book, I was spellbound, trying to visualize the lifestyle of prehistoric man, millions of years before the invention of agriculture. This is something that is widly interesting for me.
Then the last part of the book is the preparation for the 100K and the race itself that should interest any runner. In all, I was very happy to read this book and will surely return to pages 164 and onwards.
Comment by Robert Burpee on December 20, 2014 at 7:49pm
Eric have you tried to dip in and out of the book, the last 5 chapters, Diet, Racing Fuel, Training For The Race, Final Preparations & The Race, to me would be the easiest to get into. Thanks for posting his video as I until seeing it had never heard of him. And I'm still drawn somehow to that video, I've watched it countless times.
Comment by Eric Orton on December 20, 2014 at 7:08pm
Nice. Glad you enjoyed it and found motivation there. I have tried 3 seperate times and still can get thru it, but all that matters is your experience with it.

Train With Eric

Foot Core

The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton

The Cool Impossible: Run Beyond Limits

“this is by far one of the best training books of the past decade.” - Competitor Magazine

Order link:





  • Add Photos
  • View All




© 2022   Created by Eric Orton.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service