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Rolflex $95

At first glance, the Rolflex looks sort of like a Nerf tor­ture de­vice. Our testers won­dered if this bizarre ob­ject re­ally had a pur­pose in an ar­se­nal of re­cov­ery tools. Af­ter all, most run­ners seem to in­flict enough post-work­out pain upon them­selves work­ing out the tight spots with a dreaded foam roller.

The key to max­i­miz­ing the Rolflex’s in­cred­i­ble strengths and ver­sa­til­ity is fol­low­ing the in­struc­tions. Rolflex’s cre­ators have pro­duced a se­ries of ex­tremely use­ful in­struc­tional videos that walk you through a va­ri­ety of up­per and lower body re­cov­ery tech­niques.

One key area that the foam roller strug­gles to rem­edy is along the tib­ialis an­te­rior area (which be­gin to ache and de­velop into shin splints). Rolflex calls it­self the “foam roller reimag­ined” and in this con­text, as well as when rolling out calves and quads, this wacky look­ing de­vice re­ally de­liv­ers. Plus, it’s got a fan­tas­tic “you break it, we fix it” two-year war­ranty, so don’t worry about do­ing your worst to al­le­vi­ate those aches and pains.

Po­lar M200 $190

This en­tirely new watch from Po­lar is de­signed specif­i­cally for the bud­get-con­scious run­ner. We are fans of Po­lar’s other three ma­jor run­ning-ori­ented watches, the M400, M600 and V800. The M200 is ob­vi­ously more bare-bones in terms of fea­tures and build qual­ity. But it’s more than enough watch for the ma­jor­ity of run­ners.

The M200 has three pro­gram­mable fields of in­for­ma­tion on­screen, but lacks a colour dis­play and the char­ac­ters aren’t quite as sharp as we’d like. The screen is also not touch en­abled, which we feel is not en­tirely a bad thing, as the two very sim­ple and sturdy but­tons on ei­ther side work in­tu­itively for pro­gram­ming and us­ing the watch mid-work­out.

The M200 does come with op­ti­cal heart rate, Po­lar’s de­cent coach­ing plat­form, quick GPS con­nec­tiv­ity, solid bat­tery life, and it’s quite a com­fort­able and rea­son­ably sized watch. For the price, the M200 is quite a bit of run­ning watch and a fan­tas­tic value.— CR

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