Usually, a new Garmin software update wouldn't really make headlines since they happen so often but with one, I made an exception as it's pretty good and actually improves the user experience some of the best Garmin watches on the market today, including the Garmin Forerunner 245, the Garmin Forerunner 745 and the Garmin Forerunner 945.
Part of the Garmin software update has been rolled out to all three running watches, such as the ability to measure VO2 max during trail runs in a way that takes the terrain into account, a feature introduced by the Garmin Enduro earlier on this year. This can be switched on and off in the 'run settings'.
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The update also added the 'rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and feel' option, a subjective rating that can be uploaded to Garmin Connect as part of the activity. Essentially, as well as tracking your physical metrics (e.g. cadence, heart rate etc.), you can now mark how exhausted you felt after the workout which then can help determine the intensity of your future workouts, as well as probably help the Garmin algorithm fine-tune itself when it comes to workout recommendations. This feature is also available on the Forerunner 45 and Forerunner 45S.
Plus, all three watches improved their intensity minutes measurements, a similar feature to Fitbit's Active Zone Minutes.
As for the model-specific updates, the Forerunner 245 added 'Daily suggested workouts' feature which are on-device running and cycling daily workout suggestions based on training history, fitness level and recovery time. This is great for beginner runners/cyclists who don't quite know yet how to structure their workouts just yet.
The Forerunner 745 and Forerunner 945 added even more new features, including the advanced sleep and sleep score by Firstbeat Analytics, introduced by the amazing Garmin Venu 2: this allows Forerunner users to "review advanced sleep metrics including sleep stages and receive a sleep score and sleep insights based on the quality and quantity of the previous night’s sleep."
The two top-tier Forerunners now also feature the 'Ultrarun' activity, as seen in the Enduro, which allows runners to log time spent at aid stations while using the ultrarun activity with rest timer.
More surprisingly, you can also watch animated on-screen workouts to the watches, a feature that was previously only available on Garmin fitness watches. Interesting!
And finally, the fitness age estimation has also been improved and you can no longer be 15 years younger than your actual age, sadly. 'Fitness age' is calculated using chronological age, activity, resting heart rate and BMI or body fat percentage.
That's it! You basically get a load of excellent free updates which will turn these already amazing wearables into the best running watches. As a matter of fact, the Garmin Forerunner 245 has just recently won the T3 Awards 2021 in the 'Best Running Watch' category. How convenient.
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