Is the Garmin Forerunner 945 one of the best fitness trackers out there? Hell yeah. Can it be better? Of course. Especially when you add these instant upgrades to your workout kit.
First add these
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% / R4,700
You’ve got the watch, you’ve hit play on Eye of the Tiger and now it’s time to lace up those shoes and smash the PB. One of the most advanced shoes in the Nike line-up, the Vaporfl y Next% features unique cushioning for a smooth stride, while ultra-light sole materials make it feel like running on air.
Garmin HRM-Tri / R2,700
The 945’s built-in heart-rate monitor is good, but the most accurate way to achieve consistent heart readings is via a chest strap. This bad boy stores data when underwater then forwards it to the device, making it the perfect companion for a triathlon… or for anyone who likes to jump in the sea post-jog.
Under Armour True Wireless Flash / R3,000
One of the watch’s party tricks is its ability to store over 1000 songs or sync music from a streaming service… so you’ll need good headphones. UA has teamed up with JBL to make these tough, properly waterproof wireless buds that let you hear your surroundings – ideal for those ‘not getting run over’ moments.
Now try this
Feel the power
For years, cyclists have been taking advantage of power meters and accurately working out effort based on the wattage they put through the cranks. It’s a little trickier for runners but Garmin’s great Running Power app, which works perfectly on the Forerunner 945, works out running power in real-time using factors such as pace, vertical oscillation, gradient and even wind. No. More. Excuses.
Spend a penny
You’ve just finished a gruelling run. You’ve forgotten your drink. The water fountain in the park is occupied by some decaying spiders and the guy at the kiosk doesn’t take cash. Fret not, because the 945 features Garmin Pay, which allows you to reap the benefits of contactless pay without a pocket full of cards. Note: it only currently supports FNB and RMB, with more on the way.
Follow the beat
Music can make or break a workout, and some people find a rollicking tune can push them through the mental barrier that’s stopping that PB from being obliterated. Garmin makes it simple to pair a set of wireless headphones to the device; then you can transfer music from your library (this takes ages) or stream it from a favoured service (no Google Play Music or Apple Music at the moment).
Geek out on stats
The 945 produces more graphs, charts and statistics than a failed SpaceX landing. You can check your real-time performance condition (the relationship between your running speed and heart rate), recovery time and VO2 Max, and even identify your lactate threshold. Head to the excellent Garmin Connect app in order to get the clearest picture of your progress.
Reboot your route
Some of Garmin’s previous efforts at mapping were at best confusing and at worst bloody infuriating. Rejoice: the mapping functionality is now as smart as any nav system you’d find in a car, and will immediately re-route if you make a wrong turn. Also, try the new Trendline popularity routing, which uses Garmin Connect data from fellow athletes to suggest the best routes and trails.
As well as tracking all manner of exercise and turning all wearers into super-athletes, the 945 also has your back when it comes to health and well-being. Activating the sleep-tracker function gives a detailed breakdown of rest (and where you’re going wrong), while 24/7 stress tracking warns when that throbbing vein on the side of your head is getting out of control.