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