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Your Garmin watch is getting some great new training tools today

Man wearing Garmin Forerunner watch
(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin has released a big software update for some of its most popular running watches, adding new training tools and improved biometrics to help you get more from your workouts. 

The new update is rolling out now for the Garmin Forerunner 245 (both the standard and Music editions), Forerunner 745 and Forerunner 945. To get it, simply make sure your watch is paired with the Garmin Connect app on your phone, and it will be downloaded and installed automatically.

Everyone who owns one of these watches will now get an improved VO2 report, which will now record VO2 max during train runs (not just road efforts). The VO2 max score will also now take into account tough terrain or footing, so you're not marked down if you've taken an uneven route.

You'll also be able to record your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) after a workout – a subjective measure of how hard it felt. This can give you an estimate of your training zone, and help you get used to how it feels to be working at a particular level.

Go the distance

If you own a Forerunner 245 or 245 Music, you'll also get running and cycling suggestions based on your training history, fitness level and recovery time – a feature that's already available on newer Garmin watches, including the recently released Forerunner 55.

Owners of the Forerunner 745 and Forerunner 945 will get more advanced sleep tracking, including sleep stages, which can be checked right on the watch face in the morning. There's also a new workout mode for ultra runners, which allows you to log the time spent at aid stations, plus animated on-screen workouts that you can follow as part of your training.

Garmin Forerunner 245

Garmin Forerunner 245 (Image credit: TechRadar)

The watch's Fitness Age score has also had an update, and is now calculated using your chronological age, activity (how many days per week you take part in vigorous exercise), resting heart rate, and either BMI or body fat percentage (if you own a body composition smart scale like the Garmin Index S2).

It's good to see that, although Garmin is releasing new devices on a regular basis (such as the Garmin Lily and Venu 2), it's still supporting older models, even several years after their release. It's not a cheap running watch, but the Forerunner 245 was launched in April 2019, and this new software will help keep its features current, making it better value in the long run.

Cat Ellis

Cat Ellis is the fitness and wellbeing editor at TechRadar. She's been a technology journalist for 11 years, and cut her teeth on magazines including PC Plus and PC Format before joining TechRadar. She's a trained run leader, and enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the pavement. If you have a story about fitness trackers, treadmills, running shoes, e-bikes, or any other fitness tech, drop her a line at catherine.ellis@futurenet.com.