In-Depth Product Review - Garmin Forerunner 745

Foreword

The all new Garmin Forerunner 745 is a multisport GPS smartwatch from Garmin. It is successor to the four-year-old FR735XT.

I got my hands on this watch and it has literally been my friend and companion. Recording my daily activities has never been so easy. The watch tracks a number of body metrics and puts them into numbers which will help you understand and improve the quality of life.

A watch for many lifestyles having multitude of features, an easy user interface and a number of customizations possible, the Forerunner 745 is a hot pick to meet all your training needs.

I’ve been using the FR745 as my daily watch since a few weeks, and I’ve got a pretty good grasp on all the features and how it performs across a wide range of conditions. From running, cycling, swimming, breathing, strength training and many more!

Let's take a closer look into the product!


What's new in the watch ?

The exhaustive list of the newly added features in the Forerunner 745 In comparison to the 735 XT is as follows:

– New track recognition running mode
– New Daily Workout suggestion (first watch to see this feature)
– PacePro
– ClimbPro for automated climb notifications on running/cycling/hiking/XC skiing activities
– Music storage/playback via Bluetooth headphones, including Spotify
– Contactless/NFC payments
– Pulse Ox (pulse oximeter data)
– New Garmin ELEVATE optical HR sensor (V3, same as MARQ/FR245/FR945)
– Training load focus stats
– Deeper training effect details/metrics
– Stress tracking
– Changed recovery time advisor to account for Stress/Sleep/Daily Activity
– Body battery functionality
– Heat acclimation (for any workouts in temps over 71°F/21.6°C)
– Altitude acclimation (for any time or workouts spent above 850m/2,788ft)
– Incident Detection (if you crash your bike it notifies someone)
– New LiveTrack Course Support (shows planned course on LiveTrack)
– Support for STRYD Running Power Meter and Garmin Running Power.
– Safety/Tracking Assistance (you can press button to send help alert to friends/family)
– Increases battery life slightly from 14 to 16 hours in GPS mode (and 6 hours in GPS+Music mode). One week smartwatch mode battery life.
– Changed GNSS to Sony GPS chipset, includes support for GLONASS & Galileo
– Barometric Altimeter
– Redesigned a bunch of the user interface, especially for post-workout stats

The Forerunner 945, which is one step above the 745 has some additional features. They aren't much to say & mainly comes down to the following:

– FR945 has offline mapping
– FR945 has longer battery life
– FR945 has 14GB of storage (~8GB usable after maps), the FR745 has 4GB (~3GB usable)
– FR945 is slightly heavier/bigger (50g) than FR745 (47g)
– FR945 has golf, the FR745 doesn’t
– FR945 has Firstbeat Respiration Rate during a workout, the FR745 doesn’t
– FR945 has the Temperature, Compass, Dog Track, Alternate Time Zones, and XERO Bowsight Widgets, the FR745 doesn’t.

(The FR745 has a compass, but not a dedicated compass widget outside of an activity)

Weight

The watch weighs only 47 grams and after a while you wont feel that you are wearing something on your wrist. The silicone rubber strap is very comfortable and does not leave any wear marks too.

The Watch Face

The home screen of the watch can be very easily and comfortably customized. There are several default layouts to choose from. Each data entry in the layout can be changed to the parameters you would like to see on your watch face.

The analog screen went well with my formal attire and a more sporty one for rest of my day.

Depending upon your activity and occasion, you can customize the appearance of the watch face by selecting the layout, colors, and additional data. You can also download custom watch faces from the Connect IQ store.

Link to download Garmin Connect IQ Store App ( iOS / Android )

 


Recording An Activity

Recording your physical activities is very simple. With just click of 2 buttons you can start recording.

I have summarized three activities below.

  • Going for a Run
  • Going for a Ride
  • Going for a Swim

Watch face type 1

Watch face type 2

Watch face type 3

Watch face type 4

Below are the various statistics the watch records from your run.

Ready to record your run.

Short run summary

You can easy schedule your run in calender.

Map view of your run

Run Summary-1

Run Summary-2

Run Summary -3

Training effect

Run summary

Time/lap

 

  1. Use your compatible forerunner device paired with a running dynamics accessory to provide real time feedback like
    1. Cadence
    2. Vertical oscillation
    3. Ground contact time  
    4. Ground contact time balance
    5. Stride length
    6. Vertical Ratio
  2. Running power meter pod like STRYD is compatible with the smartwatch to view live running power data.   

TRACK RUN

The Garmin 745 can track your ride with the click of a button. With real time data at your wrist you are sure to ride smarter.

Ride Summary

Ride Data

Additional Ride Data

Map View Of Your Ride

The Garmin 745 tracks your swim very comfortably. With options like open water swim& indoor swimming, this is the go to watch for your swim workout.

Chose a workout

Select pool size

You are ready to begin!

Chose & download workouts from Garmin connect app.

A new feature in the Forerunner 745 is that you can chose on which track you are running in a proper 400m oval running track. You can use the track run activity to record your outdoor track data including distance in meters and lap splits.

After you run a couple of laps, your device records the track dimensions and calibrates your track distance.

 

Apart from Run, Ride, Swim you can record many types of workouts like track run, treadmill, indoor track, MTB, Bike Indoor, Pool swim, Open water swim, Triathlon, Swim run, Hike, Ski, Snowboard, Backcountry ski, XC ski, SUP, Kayak, Row, Row Indoor, Walk, Strength, Cardio, Yoga, Pilates, Floor climb, Elliptical, Stair stepper, Clocks, Navigate, Climb Indoor, Bouldering and can add/create many others.

The watch also gives you workout suggestions. They are based on your training load, sleep etc.


GARMIN CONNECT

Garmin Connect is the tool for tracking, analyzing and sharing health and fitness activities from your Garmin device. It displays your vital health data and entries for easy viewing.

Home screen face of the app showing all your data, that too live.

My running activity summary on the Garmin connect app.

Link to download Garmin Connect App: iOS / Android


Heart Rate Based Features

Your heart rate is a good measure of exercise intensity. Knowing your heart rate zones can help you measure and improve your fitness by understanding and applying these principles.

You can set your heart rate zones based on your maximum heart rate.

There are also several heart rate related features available in the default widget loop.

Your current heart rate in beats per minute (bpm). The widget also
displays a graph of your heart rate for the last four hours,
highlighting your highest and lowest heart rate.

Your current stress level. The device measures your heart rate
variability while you are inactive to estimate your stress level

Your current Body Battery™ energy level. The device calculates
your current energy reserves based on sleep, stress, and activity
data.

Your device analyzes your heart rate variability, stress level, sleep quality, and activity data to determine your overall Body Battery level. Like a gas gauge on a car, it indicates your amount of available reserve energy.

The HRM-Pro, HRM-Swim, and HRM-Tri heart rate accessories record and store your heart rate data while you are swimming.


Features

The FR 745 measures several PHYSIOLOGICAL PARAMETERS. These performance measurements are estimates that can help you track and understand your training activities and race performances.

This is what makes the watch worthwhile.

  1. Daily Suggested Workouts
    • The watch will suggest you workouts based on your training status and VO2max.
  2. Functional Threshold Power
    • For cyclists, If you know your functional threshold power (FTP) value, you can enter it and allow the software to calculate your zones automatically.
  3. Heat & Altitude Acclimation
    • Environmental factors such as high temperature and altitude impact your training and performance. For example, high altitude training can have a positive impact on your fitness, but you may notice a temporary VO2 max. decline while exposed to high altitudes. Your Forerunner device provides acclimation notifications and corrections to your VO2 max.
  4. HRV Stress Test
    • Your HRV stress score is the result of a three-minute test performed while standing still, where the Forerunner device analyzes heart rate variability to determine your overall stress.
    • Training, sleep, nutrition, and general life stress all impact how you perform. The stress score range is 1 to 100, where 1 is a very low stress state, and 100 is a very high stress state. Knowing your stress score can help you.
  5. Lactate Threshold
    • Lactate threshold is the exercise intensity at which lactate (lactic acid) starts to accumulate in the bloodstream. In running, it is the estimated level of effort or pace. When a runner exceeds the threshold, fatigue starts to increase at an accelerating rate.
    • For experienced runners, the threshold occurs at approximately 90% of their maximum heart rate and between 10k and half-marathon race pace. For average runners, the lactate threshold often occurs well below 90% of maximum heart rate.
    • Knowing your lactate threshold can help you determine how hard to train or when to push yourself during a race.
  6. Performance Condition
    • As you complete your activity, such as running or cycling, the performance condition feature analyzes your pace, heart rate, and heart rate variability to make a real-time assessment of your ability to perform compared to your average fitness level.
    • It is approximately your real-time percentage deviation from your baseline VO2 max. estimate.
  7. Predicted Race Times
    • Your device uses the VO2 max. estimate and your training history to provide a target race time based on your current state of fitness.
  8. Recovery Time
    • The recovery time displays how much time remains before you are fully recovered. It gives you an approximate time for your body to get completely fresh before a big race/event.
  9. Training Effect & Primary Benefit
    • Training Effect measures the impact of an activity on your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. It is determined by your user profile information and training history, and heart rate, duration, and intensity of your activity.
  10. Training Load & Focus
    • Training load is the sum of your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) over the last 7 days. EPOC is an estimate of how much energy it takes for your body to recover after exercise


  11. Training Status
    • These measurements are estimates that can help you track and understand your training activities. The measurements require a few activities using wrist-based heart rate or a compatible chest heart rate monitor. Cycling performance measurements require a heart rate monitor and a power meter.
      • Peaking
      • Productive
      • Maintaining
      • Recovery
      • Unproductive
      • Recovery
      • Unproductive
      • Detraining
      • Overreaching
      • No Status
  12. VO2 Max
    • VO2 max. is an indication of athletic performance and should increase as your level of fitness improves. The Forerunner device requires wrist-based heart rate or a compatible chest heart rate monitor to display your VO2 max. estimate. The device has separate VO2 max. estimates for running and cycling.
  13. Intensity Minutes
    • The device monitors your activity intensity and tracks your time spent participating in moderate to vigorous intensity activities.
    • Your Forerunner device calculates intensity minutes by comparing your heart rate data to your average resting heart rate
  14. Pulse Oximeter
    • We are all familiar with this sensor. In times of COVID-19 If a person has a mild case of COVID-19 and is self-treating at home, an oximeter can be a helpful tool for checking oxygen levels so that low oxygen levels can be caught early
    • The Forerunner 745 device has a wrist-based pulse oximeter to gauge the saturation of oxygen in your blood. Knowing your oxygen saturation can help you determine how your body is acclimating to high altitudes for alpine sport and expedition.

Sleep Tracking Data

While you are sleeping, the device automatically detects your sleep and monitors your movement during your normal sleep hours. Sleep statistics include total hours of sleep, sleep levels, and sleep movement.

Displays total sleep time, a sleep score, and sleep stage information for the previous night.

Track your sleep data throughout the week.

The Forerunner 745 device has a wrist-based pulse oximeter to gauge the peripheral saturation of oxygen in your blood. Knowing your oxygen saturation can help you determine how your body is acclimating to high altitudes for alpine sport and expedition.


Garmin Connect : Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle

Your menstrual cycle is an important part of your health. You can set up this feature in the Health Stats settings of the Garmin Connect App. Features like:

  1. Menstrual cycle tracking and details
  2. Physical and emotional symptoms
  3. Period and fertility predictions
  4. Health and nutrition information

Bluetooth Connected Features

The Forerunner device has several Bluetooth connected features for your compatible smartphone using the Garmin Connect app.

  1. Activity Uploads
    • Automatically sends your activity to your Garmin Connect account as soon as you finish recording the activity.
  2. Assistance
    • Allows you to send an automated message with your name, LiveTrack link, and GPS location to your emergency contacts
  3. Find My Watch
    • Using the Garmin connect app you can find your device. An alarm will be sent from your phone to the watch and it will play a beep sound. Similarly find your phone using the watch.
  4. Find My Phone 
  5. Incident Detection
    • When the Forerunner device detects an incident during an outdoor walk, run, or bike activity, the device sends an automated message, LiveTrack link, and GPS location to your emergency contacts.
  6. Group Track
    • Allows you to keep track of your connections using LiveTrack directly on screen and in real time.
  7. LiveTrack
    • Allows friends and family to follow your races and training activities in real time. You can invite followers using email or social media, allowing them to view your live data on a Garmin Connect tracking page.
  8. Live Event Sharing
    • Allows you to send messages to friends and family during an event, providing real-time updates.
  9. Music Controls
    • You can download audio content to your device, so you can listen when your smartphone is not nearby. The Garmin Connect app and Garmin Express application allow you to download audio content from a third-party provider or your computer.
  10. Phone Notifications
  11. Social Media Interactions
  12. Software Updates
  13. Weather Updates
  14. Workout & Course Downloads
    • You can send a course from your Garmin Connect account to your device. After it is saved to your device, you can navigate the course on your device.
    • You can follow a saved course simply because it is a good route. For example, you can save and follow a bike friendly commute to work.
    • You can also follow a saved course, trying to match or exceed previously set performance goals. For example, if the original course was completed in 30 minutes, you can race against a Virtual Partner trying to complete the course in under 30 minutes.

GPS Technology & Accuracy  

This technology automatically positions you on the map and records your activity route. Be it running, cycling or swimming in open water your distance and activity data will be calculated using GPS.

Garmin is very well known for its GPS accuracy. The watch by default choses GPS+ GLONASS which Garmin believes to have the highest accuracy. One can also chose which satellite GPS he wants to chose for tracking an activity.

Garmin's GPS accuracy is best in the business and will never mistrack your activity.

 


Control Centre

The controls menu gives you access to options such as turning on do not disturb mode, locking the keys, and turning the device off. You can also open the Garmin Pay wallet.


Summary

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is a complete device. It is a watch of the 21st century.

The watch will never disappoint you. Time will tell how much you are going to appreciate this watch from Garmin. With so many features and apps on the IQ store there is always something new to explore and try on your watch.

It has almost all features of the flagship FR 945, except for maps and a little compromise on battery life.

Just rock it on your wrist, start recording activities, get active and live a healthy lifestyle.

For any further queries or technical questions, please feel free to write to us on info@mastermindbikes.com

 

Check out the in-depth product review of the Garmin Forerunner 745 from THE MASTERMIND BICYCLE STUDIO on our YouTube channel.  

What is stopping you? What are you waiting for?
Buy a Garmin Forerunner 745 and change the way you train and live!  

Follow Us For Latest Updates & Offers On Cycling & Triathlon!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published