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Romain Borgeal  •  Running Gear •  10.11.2021 •  10 min read

Choose the right Garmin running watch for you

The aim of this article is to present our range of Garmin running watches and their different features so you can determine the best one for you. GPS running watches have become more than tracking tools and now offer a wide variety of fitness, training and performance features to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle. There is a set of basic features that you’ll find with every model. But every watch also has a point of difference and will offer additional attributes depending on its intended end use.

First, for better understanding of the range, we’ll take a look at the basic features found in all Garmin watches. Then we’ll present the models one by one with their additional attributes and what they’re best for.

Base features found in all Garmin running watches

You may want to choose your Garmin watch according to a specific feature or attribute (like the battery life or music option for instance), but whatever you’ll choose, all our Garmin watches will offer the below as a minimum.

Tracking sensors

All our Garmin watches are devices featuring GPS, Glonass and Galileo to track activities. The addition of Glonass and Galileo allows for better global network coverage. They are the Russian and European versions of GPS: when switched on, they will guarantee good signal throughout your activity, whether you’re in a city or in a remote location.   

Thus, they’ll all provide information on the essentials, namely: 

  • Distance 
  • Time 
  • Pace 
  • Speed 
  • Calories 
  • Steps 

24/7 heart-rate monitoring can be added to this list too. It’s now become a basic feature and all our Garmin watches have the Elevate wrist-based heart rate sensor. It will display your HR at any time, daily resting HR and average and highest HR from every activity. 

woman running along park path in sunshine

Sports profiles

Activity wise, all Garmin watches now feature at least a running and a cycling profile and also gym ones. Additional sports profiles are available for most watches, but there are slight differences. 

If you want to choose a GPS watch according to the activities you do (if you’re a triathlete for instance) then some models will offer more than the above three basic profiles such as swimming, trail running, etc. Read the next section for more details.

Training features

All devices have basic training options, allowing you to structure your workouts and take the guesswork out of training. For example, you can create an interval workout directly from your watch (you can set up a distance, time or open interval with rest time and number of reps). From the Garmin Connect app, you can plan and create more advanced workouts that conform to specific training goals or targets focused on distance, pace, heart rate, cadence and more.

One of the most exciting training features is Garmin Coach. Originally only available in select models, Garmin Coach adaptive training plans bring personal coaching directly to your wrist, whatever model you pick. With Garmin Coach, you can choose an expert coach, set your 5k, 10k or half marathon goal, and receive a personal training plan and step-by-step guidance.

Performance indicators

All watches, basic to expert, feature at least a few advanced fitness metrics to help gauge and improve performance. The Training Status feature shows how your training affects your fitness level and performance. It evaluates changes to your training load and VO2 max over an extended period of time, and puts you on a scale of underproductive to peaking to overreaching. You can use your training status to determine whether you need to step things up and add more variety to your workouts or increase your training volume; or ease off and take more rest. 

The VO2 max estimate is a measure of your oxygen consumption at maximum performance and (though not as accurate as a lab test) is a great indicator of athletic performance. Your VO2 max should increase as your level of fitness improves.

Garmin watches use the VO2 max estimate and training history to provide target race times. The Race Predictor can help you aim for a certain race time for different distances (5k, 10k, half and marathon).    

Additional indicators are available but not on all watches (see below for more information).

man running in the mountains

An overview of the Forerunner, Fenix and Solar series

Garmin’s Forerunner range of watches is primarily aimed at runners, from new or regular runners who simply want to record their activities, to goal-oriented and competitive runners looking to improve, chase finish times and understand more about their fitness and performance.  

The Fenix models are the most premium and high spec watches that Garmin offer, packing industry leading technology into a stylish but rugged design. Designed for the outdoors, these watches have large screens to optimise highly detailed mapping features and a comprehensive range of metrics, all framed by a tough stainless steel or titanium bezel. 

And more recently, Garmin have added a Solar charging feature to some models, making them the perfect adventure companions as they offer vastly extended battery life. Solar watches ranged at Run4It include the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar series and the Garmin Enduro.

woman running cross country on winter day

Which Garmin running watch is right for you?

Find a training partner that matches your level, needs and interest. Note the higher the number, the more features and advanced metrics the watch offers. 

Choose the Forerunner 45/45S if you want a fuss-free GPS watch providing the essentials that every runner needs and the ability to follow adaptive training plans. 

Choose the Forerunner 55 if you want an easy-to-use GPS watch that offers more in depth tracking and training features, as well as a longer battery life. 

Choose the Forerunner 245/245 Music if you want access to more sports profiles and performance stats. Also available in a Music version, you can store up to 500 songs or stream music from Spotify directly from your watch. 

Choose the Forerunner 745 if you’re a runner or triathlete who needs training stats and on-device workouts, alongside smartwatch functions. 

Choose the Forerunner 945 if you want a premium multisports watch with in-depth performance monitoring and advanced physiological features, as well as full-colour mapping for easy navigation.  

Choose a watch from the Fenix 6 Pro series if you want a rugged and premium GPS watch for all of your outdoor adventures, with mapping and navigation features and advanced performance monitoring. 

Choose the Enduro if you want epic battery life and assistance in your training and racing over ultra distances. This ultraperformance multi-sports watch is the perfect companion for outdoor adventures.


One of the most exciting training features is Garmin Coach. Originally only available in select models, Garmin Coach adaptive training plans bring personal coaching directly to your wrist, whatever model you pick.

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