Garmin watch owners just got this great free activities upgrade

Whether you run, cycle or hike, your Garmin just got better

Garmin Forerunner 255s Music first look
(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Garmin has released a major update for its smart and sports watch ranges that adds a whole stack of great new features.

Some of the brand's best running watches will have received the upgrades already, while others are in the process of getting the new software now. That includes the Garmin Forerunner 255 and Forerunner 955.

They and several others in the Garmin family receive the wrist-based running dynamics that Garmin Forerunner 265 and 965 are already capable of. That allows them to measure a swathe of running metrics, including cadence, stride length and ground contact time. This kind of granular detail usually requires optional accessories, but not the watches can do this on each device itself.

The feature is also now available on the Forerunner 945 LTE, as well as several Garmin smartwatches.

Load ratio tracking

In addition, load ratio has been added to the 955. This too is available on more recent watches and tracks the aforementioned short- and mid-term load ratio to help you keep your training status on track.

Finally, altitude acclimation enhancements have arrived on the Forerunner 945 LTE and 955 too. This gives you specific data when training at high altitude - to enable you to see how your body is reacting to the elevation.

All of the features are added to targeted adaptive coaching for cycling, a way of seeing your daily riding workouts on the watch itself; plus obstacle racing activity, a way of tracking performance during obstacle course events.

If you've not yet received these features for your Garmin watch, you may need to enable automatic updates on the watch or through the Garmin Express software for Windows or Mac.

Among the other devices that get one or more of the new features are the Garmin Fenix 7, Fenix 6 Series, Epix (Gen 2), Enduro, Enduro 2, Tactix 7, Marq, Marq (Gen 2), Quatix 7, and the Instinct 2 and Instinct Crossover.

The Garmin Forerunner 965 is arguably the most fully-featured among them, although it hasn't yet got the obstacle racing activity functionality.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.