Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BUTTLOCK… What the heck is it??

Buttlock (adjective) pronounced - \ˈbət-läk\
Buttlock is a common term used in the world of track & field (athletics).  It is usually experienced in the presence of lactic acid, when a runner has exerted themselves beyond the point of fatigue and while the mind is willing the body is slowly failing - specifically, the legs and the glutes (butt).  The legs are moving but they are not coming up high.  Evidence of this can be easily seen in the last 100m of a 400m race or in any speed endurance workout.  A good speed endurance workout may include repetition of a run over a certain distance with minimal recovery (for example - 8 x 150m with a 2 min recovery at 80% intensity).  By the time an athlete gets to the 7th and 8th runs they are demonstrating serious buttlock.
Buttlock kills!  Your legs feel like it’s a mixture of jello and acid.  If you’ve got tight hamstrings, glutes or hip flexor muscles I seriously pity you.  Sometimes the acid feeling in your legs can spread to your arms as you’re pumping them, trying to run faster. Additionally, your breathing might be heavy, but that’s the least of your concern.  And as the fatigue moves to your head and you lay passed out on the ground, the apparition of God is even possible!
Over the years, I’ve trained with various NFL, NHL and MLB players. It’s not uncommon for other sports to come over to athletics in their off season for conditioning.  And I always enjoy it!  It's nice to see the cross over of sports, no matter how different they may seem. Plus you gain a mutual respect for each other as you share and bare witness to the hard training involved. 
The other day my friend Mike (who plays professional baseball) and I were discussing our workouts.  While, I’m not training with Mike we have been training in the same facility, and Mike has really been getting after it.  (I wish for him a phenomenal season!)  His running workouts are voluminous, short recoveries and a definite “whip-your-butt-into-shape” kind of workout.  It’s hard, and different from buttlock workouts.  So, when I shared the speed endurance workout I had just completed that day, after his “whip-your-butt-into-shape” workout he chuckled wishing to exchange workouts.
 As I thought about it, I could see the appeal of a speed endurance workout… if you haven’t experienced buttlock.  Be warned buttlock must be taken serious!  And the only way to get a taste of it is to approach maximal speed over a longer sprint distance, fully embracing lactic acid.  If you’ve still got some distance to cover and you are trying to run fast but your knees just aren’t coming up high… in fact they are barely coming forward, as a jello/acid feeling ascends upon you, then you are in the presence of buttlock. 
So, I extended an invitation to Mike to train with me this week during my speed endurance session…  To get a sample taste of buttlock before he heads off to spring training… Still waiting for an answer... Although, I’m quite sure he could hang with the buttlock workout, it just might not be as pleasant as he may have hoped.
 Embracing buttlock,
Nicole

8 comments:

Greg Keane said...

That sounds painful, thanks for sharing. I linked over from Perditas blog...I just had to learn what buttlock was. I'm 38 and I'm planning on training with the masters could you suggest to me some training workouts.

Nicole Wendy Forrester said...

It's a little painful, but fortunately it is temporary. It does feel like you've got a good workout in when you are done.

That's great that you are training for the Masters! However, workout suggestions would depend on the event you are training for. You didn't mention it.

Wishing you all the best!

Anonymous said...

I experienced buttlock today & it was very painful . It was my first time since I joined track & field . Good thing is that it went away after a few minutes , I couldn't even walk .

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Unknown said...

I get buttlock every freaking day in track practice!

Unknown said...

I get buttlock every freaking day in track practice!

Quentin Venney said...

I run the 400, the last 50 meters kills, by the time I cross finish line my legs are pretty much completely locked up and numb. walking back across the infield is quite a sight as I stumble about, vision just starting to slightly fade trying to make it back to our tent.

Quentin Venney said...
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