Garmin released a new fitness smartwatch designed specifically for runners and triathletes, the Forerunner 745.
The watch is an update to the Forerunner 735XT and contains training data, on-device workouts and smartwatch features.
Key features include fitness tracking data like VO2 max levels, which indicate the maximum level of oxygen a person can consume per kilogram of body weight at maximum performance, and should increase as fitness levels increase, according to Garmin.
The watch measures running metrics like cadence and stride length, biking data like left/right balance and time seated and standing, and tracks distance, stroke and pace while swimming.
Users can get suggested bike and running workouts based on their current training load and VO2 max.
The Forerunner 745 also provides recovery time recommendations based on the difficulty of a workout. It lets users know how long to rest before another training session and accounts for factors like stress, sleep and daily activities that impact recovery.
The watch’s connectivity features work with Garmin Connect, Garmin Coach and Garmin Pay to track workouts, to plan and download routes, to download free training plans, and for contactless pay using the watch. It also connects with outside applications such as TrainingPeaks, TrainerRoad, Trendline, Strava and Komoot.
Health-metric measurement features include an on-wrist pulse oximeter, the Body Battery energy monitor that lets users know the best times for activity and rest, and menstrual cycle tracking to help people who menstruate adjust their training based on their cycle.
Beyond the fitness capabilities, the Forerunner 745 allows for up to 500 songs to be downloaded from select preloaded music streaming services. It also can receive text messages, social media notifications and email.
The battery life lasts up to one week in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode and up to six hours in GPS mode with music. The Forerunner 745 is available now for $499.99.
WHY THIS MATTERS
This device was specifically designed with athletes in mind, according to Garmin.
Advancements in health monitoring using wearables have had mostly positive impacts in the sports world, according to a report from npj Digital Medicine.
By tracking and applying health metrics to training programs, wearables have been shown to reduce the risk of injuries, improve performance and help trainers develop athlete-centered protocols, the report said.
When researchers looked at what biomarkers athletes should keep track of, they found that nutrition, hydration levels, muscle status, cardiovascular endurance, injury risk and inflammation were the most important according to the work they published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
THE LARGER TREND
Whoop, a competitor in the fitness tracker space, also designs products for athletes. The company raised $55 million last year for its wearable strap that collects physiological data and for its corresponding app, which gives users insights into their training and recovery.
The launch of Garmin’s new watch shortly followed the announcement of the Series 6 Apple Watch. The latest addition to Apple’s watch line will have capabilities to measure blood oxygenation levels and VO2 max values.
Fitbit also recently launched updates to its fitness tracker line with the Fitbit Sense 3. The new watch includes FDA-approved electrocardiogram sensors, a heart rate tracker and an on-wrist skin-temperature sensor.
The space gained a new competitor in Amazon as it released the Amazon Halo health tracker last month. Notable features for its device include activity and sleep tracking, body fat percentage measurements and voice-recorded tone assessments.
ON THE RECORD
“For years, athletes have relied on the Forerunner 735XT as they toe the line, and we’re excited to bring new features and updates to the Forerunner 745,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales, in a statement.
“Tracking every sweaty run, bumpy bike ride and long swim, the Forerunner 745 combines the performance monitoring tools our athletes have come to depend on with new daily suggested workouts, as well as an improved recovery time advisor and wellness tracking features, to help runners and triathletes beat their personal best.”