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Garmin Forerunner smartwatches just got these new fitness-tracking skills

Best Garmin watch: Garmin Forerunner 245
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Garmin is rolling out a free software update that will give some of the best running watches new skills including an improved VO2 report. 

As detailed on the Garmin blog, the download will be available for the Forerunner 245, Forerunner 245 Music, Forerunner 745 and Forerunner 945 models — all of which we rate very highly. And what's more, the update will be installed automatically, so long as your watch is connected to the Garmin Connect app.

The biggest new feature is the improved VO2 Max, which has been upgraded to better deal with tricky terrain — so your watch won't struggle should you run off-road. You can also now record VO2 Max during a trail run activity, rather than just on the road. The Intensity Minutes feature also gets an improvement around its user-friendliness, with runners now better able to see when and how these are earned. 

Plus, there are several entirely new features. One of these, available on all four watches, is the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) option. This allows you to measure the intensity of your workout, with the results uploaded afterwards to Garmin Connect so you can easily keep track of your progress.

The Forerunner 245 and 245 Music, meanwhile, will now get a Daily Suggested Workouts feature. As the name implies, these watches will suggest running and cycling workouts based on insights into your data, including fitness level and recovery time.

Lastly, the Forerunner 745 and 945 models will be getting some additional updates. More advanced sleep tracking and scoring is one of them, which should help users better assess the quality of their sleep. The Ultrarun activity has also added a rest timer for aid stations and there will be additional on-screen workouts available for activities such as pilates and cardio. These two models can also now better assess your ‘fitness age,' taking into account your actual age, activity, resting heart rate and BMI.

These latest updates are available now and look likely to make some of the best Garmin watches even better. 

Katie Mortram

Katie looks after everything homes-related, from kitchen appliances to gardening tools. She also covers smart home products too, so is the best point of contact for any household advice! She has tested and reviewed kitchen appliances for over 6 years, so she knows what to look for when finding the best. Her favorite thing to test has to be stand mixers as she loves to bake in her spare time.