The Garmin Forerunner 245 (also known as the Garmin 245) is one of the better watches for runners looking to “take their running to the next level” with a GPS watch tracker.
For the price of $350, it has many features that only higher-priced GPS running watches have. Plus, it’s also made as to the Garmin 245 Music, which has the capability to hold music. If you like running with music but don’t want to hold your phone, it’s a good option.
The Basics of the Garmin Forerunner 245:
- Measures distance, time, GPS, miles
- Measure oxygen saturation
- Ability to connect to your phone and Strava
- Incident detection (if you fall somewhere)
- Show your texts so you can never get away from social media. (Just kidding)
What’s been updated since the Garmin 235?
The Garmin Forerunner 245 is smaller and thicker. Personally, I think it looks a little cheaper, but it’s also lighter. From the beginning, the Garmin Forerunner series has always prioritized function over fashion. Almost all of the Garmin Forerunners look sporty and not a watch you want to wear on a date.
Screen: The resolution is higher in the Garmin 245. The screen is also durable and won’t scratch easily. You can also set up four data sets in the Garmin 245. So whatever combination of cadence, current time, calories burned, average speed, heart rate, pace, distance, and time.
Buttons: There are five buttons that you can quickly figure out what they do. There is no touch screen in the Garmin Forerunner 245. The buttons are fairly firm, so you probably won’t deal with buttons changing randomly.
Interchangeable Quick Release Watch Bands: You can change your watch bands to meet your run style.
The Basics of the Garmin Forerunner 245:
This is what most people are looking for in the watch. What can it do for running?
- GPS (time, distance, pace, all of the running basics)
- Wrist heart rate monitor (why I actually bought it)
- The ability for external heart rate monitor
- Pulse Oxygen Sensor
- Activity Tracker
- Gyroscope – Cadence tracker
Using the Garmin Forerunner 245:
The Garmin Forerunner 245 is much lighter and less bulky than many other Garmin GPS Watches. I’m not too fond of cumbersome watches and a major factor in selecting watches. I don’t want something I feel like I’m getting a mini arm workout (Unpopular opinion, but I think the Garmin Fenix is too big and bulky).
Wrist heart rate: You get the heart rate data through your wrist. The sensor seems to be fine and does its job. GPS Watches have come a long way since installing heart rate in the wrist, and most do a good job.
The Garmin Forerunner 245 Basics:
All of the basic information for the Garmin Forerunner 245 is fairly accurate. With some watches, I’ve had them stop recording if I went under a bridge or tunnel. (Fitbit told me I ran 8 miles at the Broad Street 10 miler LOL). The GPS with the Garmin Forerunner 245 is one of the most accurate of any device. Like any GPS watch, nothing is perfect on the track or treadmill.
The one feature that surprised me was the lack of a barometric altimeter. This means you won’t be able to measure altitude, which is one of my favorite features! Almost every watch I know of from this price range also measures altitude, so it was surprising the Garmin Forerunner 245 does not.
How many notifications do you want on your Garmin Forerunner 245?
If you like having all of the data in real-time (I do not), you can program it all in. If you want it to beep when you hit a mile, lap, or whatever, it’s all there. You decide. With the Garmin 245 with music, you can also adjust the audio.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Settings:
There are many settings with the Garmin Forerunner 245, so it will probably take some time to figure out what works best for you and your situation. As previously mentioned, you can figure out which four data points you want during your run. For me, pace, time, distance, and heart rate work well.
Garmin offers several distances in their training plans, including 5k, 10k, and half marathon. I am slightly interested in why they don’t include a marathon training plan. The training plans all provide tips and information as well as a generic coach. There are hundreds of online programs, but it’s cool the Garmin Coach will program your workouts into the watch for you. The settings can be included for a personalized plan.
One of the best features, in my opinion, is the option that alerts someone in case of an emergency. While it includes live tracking, it only works when connected to your phone. It would be perfect if it didn’t need to be connected to your phone.
The Garmin Connect App:
Half of having a Garmin Forerunner 245 watch is the ability to connect to the Garmin Connect App or Strava and see your data later. It can be done on Bluetooth or wifi (wifi is faster).
What can the Garmin Forerunner 245 do besides running?
- Cycling: The cycling feature works similar to the running feature. I don’t know a heck of a lot about cycling, but most people advise to get a cycling-specific device.
- Swimming. It will count your laps for swimming and has been fairly accurate. Personally, I still like my Form Goggles.
- Hiking, yoga, cross-training
The Activity Tracker on the Garmin Forerunner 245:
The Garmin Forerunner 245 also has an activity tracker that can be used to monitor heart rate, steps, calories, sleep, distance, and total activity time. The information calculates the “body battery.”
What is the body battery? It supposedly gives you a good indication of your energy balance as well as ways you can improve. It combines your stress level and combines it with your heart rate and the last few hours of activities. If Garmin believes you are “going too hard” in life, it will advise you to step back and relax. It’s cool to have that extra advice on how you can recover faster or if you are overreaching.
Garmin 245 and Measuring Sleep:
I don’t love wearing watches to bed, but since the Garmin Forerunner 245 is lighter, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t always wear it, but it can measure your sleep, including if you got REM or light sleep. Garmin also tracks movement in your sleep, and you can even compare your sleep to other Garmin users.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Battery Life:
The battery life for the Garmin 245 is roughly 24 hours while in GPS mode. It’s a lot longer than previous Garmin GPS Watches.
The PulseOx Sensor:
Before the Garmin Forerunner 245, I had no idea what this even meant. After some research, I learned it measures the Oxygen saturation in your blood, a feature usually just for hospitals.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music:
One of the best features of the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is that you can download music into your watch and not worry about carrying a phone. If you want to stream the music, you must always be connected to Wi-Fi (so in a gym or on a treadmill). I like to listen to podcasts, but I’ve found many podcasts don’t make their shoes easily available for downloading.
If getting texting notifications is important to you, the Garmin Forerunner 245 will do that too. The Garmin 245 will also view emojis, so you know you’ve entered the modern age.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Comparatives:
The most similar models are the Polar Vantage Model M, and I believe Garmin is more accurate. The Coros Apex carries almost every single other feature except music. Between the two, I generally prefer the Coros Apex because I can wear it casually too.
Comparable Models From Garmin:
Garmin Forerunner 45: It is cheaper but lacks a lot of features, such as programming workouts. I strongly believe for the price point; the Garmin Forerunner 245 is a better value. If you are someone who plans to program track workouts, I would suggest the Garmin 245.
Garmin Forerunner 645: More expensive but with features like a barometric altimeter, contactless payment, data pages, and the Garmin Forerunner 645 looks a little better. With the extra money? If those features are important to you.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Conclusion:
The Forerunner 245 is a great watch, and I believe it’s a strong contender for a great GPS watch for almost any other runner. If you don’t use the music at all, I suggest saving a few dollars and getting the “regular” Garmin Forerunner 245 or even the Coros Apex.
You can purchase a Garmin Forerunner 245 here and see more running gear reviews here.
Questions for you:
Which GPS Watch do you?
What is your favorite GPS watch?