To put it simply, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is the better sports watch on the market. Alongside its best-in-class sports tracking and training analysis, it provides smart features like music storage and streaming, and has colour maps for on-the-go navigation. In addition, it includes a comfortable, lightweight design and an enormous battery life. There’s really nothing never to like here.

Things We Liked
The very best sports tracking available to buy, with in-depth training analysis that will help condition your training routine for the better.
Colour maps and on-the-go route planning means you can explore new places rather than fear getting lost again.
Music storage and syncing with streaming platforms including Spotify.
The 945’s lightweight, slim build is comfortable to wear.
An extraordinary battery life of 36 hours of GPS, and ten hours of GPS plus music.
Things We Didn’t Like
Some might choose the more premium look of watches in the Fenix 5 Plus – or the just released Fenix 6 – series, as well as the outlandishly expensive Marq Athlete, to the plastic Forerunner 945.
The sleep tracking lacks depth and can often be inaccurate.
Photographs: Edward Munn

MUST I Consider Buying ANOTHER THING?
If you want the most effective sports tracking and training analysis available, the Forerunner 945 is your very best bet. That is if you don’t want that tracking and analysis and also a more premium-looking watch, and also have £1,400 burning a hole in your pocket, in which particular case supply the Garmin Marq Athlete a look.

The Fenix 5 Plus Series offers almost all of the top features of the Forerunner 945 in a slightly more premium-looking package, but if you don’t discover a deal the watches are more costly compared to the 945, and the battery life is worse on the Fenix too.

Beyond Garmin there are no opponents that come near what’s made available from the 945. Polar and Suunto’s flagship watches compared flunk on features, simplicity and accuracy. There’s no music or colour maps for instance, and I came across the Suunto 9 to be lacking when it found heart rate accuracy, as the Polar Vantage V was regularly off for both distance covered and heartrate.

One question that’s worth thinking about, however, is whether you will need all that the Forerunner 945 offers. When you can manage with breadcrumb navigation instead of full maps, and slightly less impressive degrees of training analysis, the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is designed for £220 less at £299.99.

Garmin Forerunner 945 In-Depth
Running With The Garmin Forerunner 945
After spending six weeks with the Forerunner 945 running nearly every day and getting involved in several races, I could confidently say it’s the very best running watch I’ve ever used. The depth of features is extraordinary, and Garmin does an excellent job to make these features accessible and simple to understand through widgets and colour-coded displays on the watch.

In conditions of the fundamentals, you should use GPS alone to track your runs, or GPS + GLONASS (the American and Russian satellite systems) or GPS + Galileo (the American and European systems), with the latter making the most reliably accurate tracks in the united kingdom if you ask me. You can create your data screens showing up to four stats at the same time, and link the 945 to a footpod to show live information on your own running technique or your running power stats.

You can setup interval workouts on the 945 itself or create more difficult structured workouts in the Garmin Connect iphone app and sync them to check out on the watch. In addition, it links to Garmin Coach, that is a new feature in the Garmin Connect iphone app that creates tailored training plans for events which range from 5K to half marathon. These plans are often synced with the 945, that may guide you through each one of the workouts on the schedule. As the plans were created more for beginner and improver runners (with a most effective 5K target time of 25 minutes, for instance), Garmin Coach is most likely aimed more at owners of the Forerunner 45 and 245 watches instead of the 945.

Where the 945 does indeed appeal to serious athletes has been the number and depth of post-run analysis. That starts with information on the training aftereffect of each run and how it’s improved your aerobic or anaerobic fitness, information that feeds in to the analysis of your training load the watch provides.

Plus a rating of whether your current load is productive or not, the 945 reduces the past a month of training into anaerobic, high aerobic and low aerobic and lets you know whether you’re attaining the proper balance between your three. This is an attribute which has previously only been on the blissful luxury Marq Athlete, not rendering it to Garmin’s flagship Fenix 5 Plus Series.

Anaerobic training broadly compatible running short intervals at near your max, while high aerobic is steady but still tough runs like tempo sessions, and low aerobic is straightforward running. A highly effective training plan requires the proper amount of every kind of training, and the 945 enables you to know if the total amount of yours could possibly be improved. That is done with a simple graph and one-line explanation of list of positive actions, so regardless if you have little interest in the nuts and bolts of the energy systems used when running, it’s clear how you may tweak your training to boost it overall.

The 945 may also let you know how well you’re acclimatising to heat (when above 22°C) and altitude (when over 800m). I didn’t have a lot of an opportunity to test these features in London, although the short July heatwave did begin to build up my high-temp adaptation. While they could not do much for your everyday running, these features will be useful for just about any amateurs or pros who leave for sunny training camps at elevation.

Much like other Garmin running watches, the 945 also rates your VO2 max and predicted race times for 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. My predicted times will always be very optimistic on past Garmins, however the 945 is overly negative. I ran a faster 10K compared to the time predicted by the 945 twice while wearing it and it didn’t adjust.

The mapping top features of the 945 are brilliant for running. You can create quick routes on the 945 itself, either before you begin or halfway through if you’re looking for the best way back again to where you started from, or sync over your favourites from Garmin Connect. Now you can create step-by-step routes in the iphone app itself, though generally it’s much easier to do that on the Garmin Connect website.

Having full colour maps on your own wrist does indeed make it hard to reduce your way while carrying out a route. The 945 may also give you details like distance and elevation remaining, and also a break down of the climb you’re on, which means you know whether you’re practically at the very top or if a disheartening incline is waiting just around the bend.

I came across the optical heartrate tracking on the watch impressively accurate on all my runs, generally concluding with an average heartrate within a beat or two of a chest strap reading. On short, sharp intervals the 945 did lag 3 or 4 seconds behind a chest strap when measuring the rise and fall of my heartrate, so if heartrate is absolutely imperative to how you train then wearing a chest strap continues to be recommended as it has been all running watches, however the 945 was accurate enough that I didn’t wish to. The light, slim design without doubt helps upon this front, because the watch sits near your skin and doesn’t maneuver around up to the bulky Fenix 5 Plus, for instance.

The Forerunner 945 truly is a exceptional running watch, offering brilliant tracking and training analysis in addition to the capability to map routes and play music, all within a lightweight device that packs in a chunky battery life of 36 hours of GPS. At this time, there’s nothing better out there for runners.

Sports Tracking With The Garmin Forerunner 945
The 945 has dedicated sports modes for just about everything, though often these don’t extend far beyond showing the duration of your activity together with the calories burned and heartrate. Along with running, the swimming and cycling modes are more fleshed out, having the ability to link up with cycling power meters and other sensors, and dedicated pool and open-water swimming modes.

It doesn’t track heartrate during swimming, that is a shame because other trackers do try to do that, but Garmins hold firm to the view that optical heartrate accuracy can often be so wayward underwater that it’s not worth bothering with, instead suggesting you connect to a compatible chest strap just like the HRM-Swim.

When swimming you get sport-specific stats like stroke rate and SWOLF, and laps within an indoor pool and distance when outdoors, when the watch use the GPS to track your swim. Gleam customisable multisport mode on the watch, as you’d expect from a triathlon-focused device.

Like other Garmin watches, the 945 may also try to count your reps automatically and identify the exercises you’re doing in the fitness center. It has never been the most successful feature on Garmin watches if you ask me, but if you do click on the lap button to signal the finish of a set you can