I felt a bit like a celeb today. Not that fame is what I’m seeking in any shape or form but on my return from the park to my lovely new flat, a group of girls were chatting and their mum said to me: “Is that a real Running Mat that you’re carrying. The girls really loved it on last night’s Dragon’s Den. What’s it like? Is it light?” Oh yes, it’s not me they wanted to find out about but this rolled up piece of running apparatus attached to my waist. And they were not the only ones. The boys at work, who I hasten to add, poo-pooed my new running companion when it arrived in the post a few weeks back and then laughed at me when I wore it with my usual gear on my #runcommute home one evening, were all ears today.
There’s no doubt that The Running Mat has split opinion but is it really as absurd as the male Dragons (supposedly) made it out to be? Here’s my verdict on The Running Mat:
The Running Mat is essentially a cushioned, foldaway, waterproof exercise mat that you wear around your waist. You lay the black side of the mat down on the grass and lay on the reflective side, which holds the heat in (pretty handy but more about that later). It was designed for outdoorsy-types like me who want to be able to run to the park and do floor work comfortably and in clean surroundins, which means no worries about putting your hand in dog poop. Yuck.
Now before I received The Running Mat, I was a bit sceptical. I mean, come on, I’ve run in rain and snow for goodness sake. It also comes at a pretty high price – £19.95. But having used it a few times now, I really can see the benefits, especially if you want to benefit from fresh air and gentle exercise. You may enjoy Tough Mudder but it’s kind of in the name that you’ll get muddy. Muddy sit-ups and plank-full-of-dirt do not quite have the same ring to them. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age but protecting my body is important and anything I can do to help that, including providing a layer between myself and Mother Earth, is surely a good thing. I can also see how PTs can work the mat into their drills – it is super-light and doesn’t take up half as much room as foam mats. It’s also brilliant for festival goers. I took mine to The Green Man festival in Wales over the weekend and sat on it, lazed on it and even slept on it at night. The heat reflecting aspect of The Running Mat really came in handy in our tent and made the bitter chill felt through my one season sleeping bag slightly more bearable during the night.
In general, I’m really enjoying my experience of The Running Mat but I do have one bugbear. The fairly flimsy clip that you use to fasten The Running Mat around your waist seems to have a life of its own. It should be easy to adjust to my waist size but I cannot seem to get the tension right. I didn’t watch Dragon’s Den last night but I’m sure Theo Paphitis had a field day with the clip. It’s waiting for him to snap it off. Once they improve the fastening, I’m sure this handy mat will prove itself worthy.
The Running Mat – absurd or ingenious? Well, I think for its pure simplicity and ease-of-use, I’d be erring towards the ingenious end of the scale but only time will tell if it really takes off.
What do you think? Will you be buying one? You can find out more about The Running Mat and purchase it here.
BTW I was kindly sent this product to review…