Brevi Fitness

Half Marathon Ready

Training for a Half Marathon?

The topic for today is inspired from our having completed the Brooklyn Half  Marathon and the fact that we didn't train for it...Or did we? We decided to do a bit of an experiment.

Question: Is it possible to run 13.1 miles without logging a ton of training time hitting the pavement (and treadmill)?

Result: Yes. With a time of 2:12.

We started to use the CrossFit Warhorse 16 Week Half Marathon Training Program (which we LOVE), but Ruschelle wrecked her toe in the Vibram Five Fingers several months ago...SOOO she was down to practically no training.  And when I say no, I mean, lifting stationary weights and doing pilates.

Meanwhile, my training looked something like this:

January till March Interval Training/Hill Sprint/ 3/5/7 mile run

March till May No running, besides the one hopeless run of 4 miles with so many stoppages that I lost count AND not much working out

May 1st - May 19th Started going back to the gym, lifting, metcons (metabolic conditioning) and got back my 315lbs deadlift (Got back meant, for a little while I was stuck back at 295lbs after having PR'ed at 315lbs in February) the day before the half marathon

Given this was my first Half Marathon, I had no hope of finishing under 4 hours.

Today, (3 days after the race) I feel great.  Now I understand that finishing a half marathon on 2hours 12 minutes is no record beating time, but I was looking to finish and not feel beat up afterwards.  I jumped right back into the regular Workout Of Day from the CrossFit main site and haven't missed a beat.  I am excited and confident about completing the ING NYC Marathon in the fall.  Ruschelle and I are planning on following the CrossFit Warhorse Schedule to train for the ING.  We will let you know how it goes!

Leave a comment below if you have successfully completed races by training in a "unconventional" way.

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When I began lifting heavy weights, I was amazed at the things I had convinced myself I could not do.  I was completely unaware of how little credit I had given myself and my body. Weight lifting requires that, one stop thinking and just lift.  Being placed in a situation where you have few choices but to act can be a very motivating thing, for good or bad.  Before weightlifting, I was living in a world of limited possibilities for my physical capabilities.   I weigh 100lbs.  The first day I flung an 85 lb barbell overhead in a snatch was one of the best days of my life.  Today, my motivation comes from a place of pure awe and wonder at the rare, and precious opportunity to enjoy my body.

My motivation did not always come from a sense of wonder and enjoyment.  In fact, positive psychology describes this motivation as the most effective (and hardest to maintain) form of motivation.  I remember my first becoming interested in health and well being.  My father had been diagnosed with diabetes, I was  13 and terrified to be diagnosed myself.  I spent hours researching proper diet, hours on the treadmill and hours talking to my father about health.  I was scared.  Fear is a powerful motivator.

I am not advocating one form of motivation over another, because I believe they each have their place at different points in our lives.  I would however, challenge you to find what really motivates you, evaluate if it is truly a “healthy” form of motivation and if it is, find out how to get more of it.  Below is a great excerpt from Men’s Health regarding motivation and exercise.  Use it to determine your level of motivation.

How Motivated are You?

LEVEL 1 (barely there)

You Work Out Because: You have no particular reason for working out.

Your Motivation Type: Amotivation

No external or internal factors influence your activity, so no activity occurs.


You Work Out Because: Other people like you better when you're in shape.

Your Motivation Type: External Regulation

The mind responds to outside stimuli, though no internal motivation exists.


You Work Out Because: You would feel bad about yourself if you didn't.

Your Motivation Type: Introjected Regulation

Internal motivations begin to form, but limited positive outcome occurs.


You Work Out Because: You believe it's important and beneficial for health and lifestyle.

Your Motivation Type: Identified Regulation

Motivations become more positive, resulting in prolonged positive behavior.

LEVEL 5 (all the way)

You Work Out Because: You simply enjoy it.

Your Motivation Type: Intrinsic Motivation

Positive activity is performed for extended periods because of pleasure response.

Read more at Men's Health:

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Lift Daily

Most exercise plans encourage some form of movement daily. I have struggled on and off with even considering whether or not this is achievable. These past few months I have meditated on the idea of dedication. Did you ever meet someone that seemed to always be productive despite life's challenges? Maybe it seems as though they have no challenges at all. How do they make life effortless? Are they naturally that way? Do they have to work at it?

At the other end of spectrum, some people live in constant crisis. As a mental health therapist, I teach people how to manage life's challenges by planning for such times. For example, if someone is chronically depressed and they are finding it challenging to get out of bed, they may work with me to plan for such moments. I will have the client consider "not getting out of bed" a crisis because this will lead to loss of employment and possible financial strain. The client and I will write a list of several action steps to take if they find themselves unable to get out of bed. One may be to call their doctor immediately, plan to do one normal thing such as brushing your teeth, then doing 5 minutes of deep breathing. Writing the plan is always done when the client is going through a period of feeling "normal and healthy." It is kept in a visible place and is easy to reference on difficult days.

I use this technique myself. On days that I wake up late or am unable to get to the gym for a full workout, I view this as a "crisis". I have written specific exercises to do immediately upon rising. I also remind myself that I am to give myself credit for my effort to stay on schedule, no matter how small. Having a plan has relieved my tendency to make noncompliance to an exercise schedule manageable. It also eliminates the need to minimize my efforts. I am certainly celebrating more these days.

1. Develop your own "crisis" plan. Below is a sample form

On days that I (am late for the gym), I will (do one of the following exercises upon rising).

3 Rounds

25 Pushups

25 Situps

25 Squats

2. Celebrate achievements daily, no matter how small.

Today I will celebrate the opportunity to share a healthy tip with a friend.

3. Talk to people about your successes and compliment others on theirs.

4. Determine your purpose (write about this) Why do you exercise? Why is this important to you?

Take inventory of your motivation land confidence daily.

Scale of 0-10

Motivation: 7

Confidence: 5

This is a great way to gauge which one of these you need to work on.

I encourage you to "lift daily" whether it be your body weight, heavyweights or your motivation. Staying positive and dedicated to healthy living is a process that needs support and attention.

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UFC Vs. Muay Thai

Walking by Time Square the other day came across a giant truck with UFC plastered all over it.  I was reminded of my time when I used to do Muay Thai (Thai Kick boxing)

The word muay derives from the Sanskrit mavya which means "to bind together". Muay thai is referred to as the "Art of Eight Limbs" or the "Science of Eight Limbs" because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight "points of contact", as opposed to "two points" (fists) in boxing and "four points" (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing, boxing, and savate

I loved it, primarily because of the eight points of contact (what I heard was 'Anything goes'). I love hitting the heavy bag and doing a roundhouse kick on it to get your shins stronger... Nothing like it.

UFC is a combination of various martial arts fighting styles combined together. Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling etc. During the time I was practicing Muay Thai, the school I went to had wrestling component as well. I never really enjoyed the wrestling, but stand-up style favored me a lot more.

Any of the above disciplines (primarily Muay Thai, I am biased and proud of it) is a great conditioning workout. Even if you do 10 minutes of this on any given day, its going to test you. The workout around this I would employ would be (helpful if you have a partner)


Punch and Kick for a minute or two (not anything specific) and when your partner says drop/down, you drop down to the ground and start doing pushups, until your partner has tears in his/her eyes and out of pity they ask you to come back up. Right away pounce on the bag and start kicking and punching with methodical jabs and meaningful right punch (For right handed).

Continue this for a total of 10 minutes or if feeling saucy do it in 3min/1min proportions (3 mins punching and kicking, 1 min of pushups) for a total of 5 rounds. And if you can tell me your name and birth day in one breath then give me a call :) I put one of my clients through the latter and I think I heard curse words.

Job well done!

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First WoW!

This is the first Post on WOW (Workout of the Week) section

We will feature workouts that inspired us or humbled us during the week and post them here. We will also go over techniques and tips to execute the workouts in this section as well.

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