It’s that time of year again – time to find those gifts for the favorite people in your lives (or yourself). I have one suggestion for sure! I just upgraded my old Garmin to the Garmin Forerunner 955.
Here are some of the features that I have grown to love:
- My daily report. This report lets me know how well (or not well) I slept over the night – deep sleep, REM, light, etc. It then looks at my Heart Rate Variability (HRV) to determine my level of recovery, how much stress, my SPO2, and will even recommend a workout for the day.
- Activity tracking. I have my activities set for trail running, mountain biking, hiking, strength, Pilates, and XC skate skiing (I’m looking forward to our upcoming winter season!). All activities will upload to Garmin Connect and Strava as expected.
- Wrist based heartrate and VO2 max. These are great variables to see how I’m tracking over time. The Forerunner is a multi-sport watch and I was able to connect my bike power meter to the Forerunner. I am now getting my cycling VO2 max in addition to my running VO2 max, something I did not have previously.
- Music and podcasts. Up to 2000 songs (or songs and podcasts) so I can leave my phone at home, or just save my phone battery. It is very easy to download and update songs/podcasts, and I find myself loading up new podcasts in the morning before I head out for my morning run or ride.
- Courses. I recently ran from Barker Pass to Palisades. I knew we’d be following the PCT for most of the run but wasn’t quite sure which route we would run into Olympic Valley. I loaded the course onto my 955 and got a turn-by-turn map. I would get a vibration on my wrist for every turn along the way and had a nice map showing remaining mileage and vertical till destination.
- Incident detection. This isn’t something we think about, but I do have this function turned on. I tripped while running, completely wiped out (I’m ok), and this activated the incident detection. You will still need your phone to be connected and it was ready to make the call to my emergency contact (my husband). The Forerunner does provide an opportunity to cancel the call which I was able to easily do.
- Heart Rate Variability (HRV). HRV is monitored during sleep to determine recovery and response to training. I’ve never had this information before, so this is a new variable and I’m finding it does provide insight into adaptations to my workouts.
- Long battery life. The battery on my 645 was getting low meaning I was charging it daily. The 955, even for all the features on this watch, will last a few days before needing a charge. If you get the solar version, it will actually charge while you are outside running, hiking, biking, etc. Garmin states you will get 15 days in smartwatch mode. And when you do need to charge, I get a full charge while I shower and eat my next meal!
Fenix vs Forerunner
I did take a look at the Fenix along with the Forerunner and was a bit torn between the two. I liked the smaller face size of the Fenix, but the Forerunner is actually lighter with less thickness. I wasn’t sure if the face would be too big (I have fairly small wrists) but I haven’t found that to be an issue. The Forerunner does have a few more features over the Fenix, but it ended up coming down to price and the Forerunner is actually less expensive than the Fenix. You can certainly upgrade by adding the solar option or the special sapphire glass, but I felt that the base version was sufficient for me.