Garmin 945 Review: The Better Runner Maker
Updated: Jul 16
A little over 2 months ago I made the switch from a Suunto 9 to a Garmin 945. I loved my Suunto, but it was missing one key feature for my marathon training that I wanted so I made the switch.
This review will go over all the stuff this watch does, what I like, and what I don't like.
Cliff Notes - This watch will make you a better [and smarter] runner!
First, let's discuss why I made the switch.
See the workout to the left? It's from my marathon training plan on Training Peaks. It's one of my "speed" training days, as you can see the speeds and distances vary.
If you had to memorize this and run with a standard GPS watch ... good luck.
This watch syncs with my training plan, and when I head out for my run, all I do is hit "do run workout" and this plan pops up.
My watch tells me how long to run and how fast. This allows me to focus on one thing and one thing only: running.
No need to memorize the workout or plan. Just listen for the BEEP and look down at the watch and it says:
"Run 2.5miles @ 7:20 min/mile"
then when that's done, it would say:
"Run 0.5 miles @ 9:47 min/mile"
So needless to say, this watch allows me to do more complex run workouts, which theoretically should get me better results.
When I'm running, it's also very easy and intuitive to see my current heart rate.
This makes sure you are running in the right zone for the right workout.
Long slow run? Look for the blue or green.
Fast tempo run? Look for orange or red.
This watch does have a built in heart rate monitor which I find to be pretty accurate. When running though, I do connect a chest heart rate monitor for more precise data.
Next, it measures your estimated VO2 max.
VO2 max is the amount of oxygen you can use during exercise.
It's commonly referred to as the "go-to" metric for cardiovascular capability.
The higher the number, the better.
Similar to tracking a back squat or bench press, tracking your VO2 max can help ensure you are seeing progress.
Curious how fast you can theoretically run a race? It tells you.
Again, a useful metric to make sure you are seeing progress and getting motivated!
From top left:
Recovery - Tells you how long until you are recovered from your workout
Current/Live Health Stats - Heart rate, Stress, and Body Battery (more on BB below)
Weather - Current and Future Weather (uses Wifi to gather data)
Music - Download, store, and play music from Spotify
Training Status - Tells you if your workouts are productive
Garmin Payments - Use your watch to pay on touchless devices *not pictured
The cool thing about Garmin watches is you can customize the data and data fields. Don't want to see the weather? Get rid of it so you don't have to scroll through it.
Want to see something else? Add it in. You can download more apps from the Garmin store.
Also not pictured - you can receive texts and notifications if you are within Bluetooth range of your phone. You can also reply from fixed messages which you can customize.
I have mixed feelings on the texts. On one hand its nice to get them right on your watch, it's easy to read and reply. On the other hand, it's just another distraction. I'm glad it cannot take calls though. Worth noting - you can block any app that you don't want sending notifications to.
While the watch is cool, lot's of awesome things happen in the app. This is where the real data comes in and helps you see trends and analyze the data in more depth. For data lovers, it's a gold mine.
The classic "what did you do yesterday" metric reporting.
All the stats are cool, but I personally like the little green checkmark for hitting a goal.
Similar to yesterday's metrics, this is an overview of the last 7 days.
Helpful to see averages, especially in steps, stress, calories, and sleep!
The Garmin Body Battery.
For those that use Whoop, this is kind of like that.
For those unfamiliar, this is meant to tell you how much "energy" you have to use.
If you workout, workout, and workout and don't sleep well, your Body Battery will be low. This theoretically means you will not perform at your best.
Consistently low Body Battery would also theoretically mean sickness or injury is around the corner.
I sleep about 8 hours a night and have solid nutrition, so my Body Battery gets replenished every night.
Worth nothing things like stress are taken into account here, so if you have a stressful day at work, your Body Battery will go down faster!
In conclusion, I recommend this watch for anyone looking to improve their fitness, but especially those that run. It's full of helpful information in an easy to use and interpret format. Garmin continues to be an industry leader in developing great products!