While runners can choose between a number of excellent Garmin watches, ranging from the budget Forerunner 45 up to the all-singing all-dancing Fenix 6 Series, triathletes are not as well served. Garmin has long reserved its multisport mode for its most expensive watches: the Forerunner 945 and Fenix 6 Series were the only recent launches to feature it, and both cost more than £500.
The venerable Forerunner 735XT, released in May 2016, has been the best-value Garmin for triathletes and for a couple of years it’s been possible to find it for under £200. However, the 735XT is showing its age, and it’s missing many of the advanced training analysis and smart features found on recently-released Garmins.
So Garmin’s announcement of an update to the series is welcome news. The Forerunner 745, which costs £449.99, slots into the Forerunner range just below the 945 (£519.99) and above the 645 (£349.99 with music).
While the 745 is the cheapest option among Garmin’s recent multisport GPS launches, it’s still very expensive. So what are you getting for your money?
Alongside all the excellent sports tracking you’d expect from a Garmin, the 745 is designed to get more actively involved in your training. Its detailed training analysis includes an upgraded recovery advisor, which tells you how long to rest before your next hard session and now takes into account your all-day stress stats, sleep and your activity outside of sport.
The 745 also uses that information – as well as your VO2 max as measured by the watch – to suggest running and cycling workouts. This is similar to the suggested workouts Polar devices offer, and could be very useful for those who aren’t already working to a regimented training plan.
Other notable features on the 745 include navigation through breadcrumb trails and music. The watch can store up to 500 songs and sync playlists from streaming services including Spotify.
It makes for a significant upgrade on the 735XT and brings the watch into line with Garmin’s other newer devices. However, the battery life on the 745 looks underwhelming, with just 16 hours of GPS or six hours of GPS plus music.
We’re not sure why that number is so low, given that other recent Garmins have far superior battery life – the Forerunner 245 offers 24 hours of GPS and the Forerunner 945 gives 36 hours. Even the old 735XT offered 14 hours of GPS, so this is a rather minor upgrade.
Aside from that, the 745 is a considerable improvement on its predecessor and gives triathletes a slightly cheaper Garmin option than the 945 or Fenix 6. We’ll be putting the 745 through its paces as soon as we can to let you know how it stacks up.
Buy from Garmin | £449.99