It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for – the moment when the last-but-one entry-level Forerunner hits double figures. In our mind’s eye we are seeing Wall Street-types scream “BUY BUY BUY” into mobile phones the size of bricks. It’s taken longer than expected, but we’ve got there in the end with Amazon dropping the price to £99.99 (opens in new tab).
The Forerunner 45 is an excellent running partner which nails the fundamentals of tracking your runs. That starts with accurate GPS tracking which doesn’t drop out, something which we’ve known to afflict other GPS trackers in this price range, and reliable heart rate tracking. It’s also a straightforward watch to use ,unlike high-end running watches which we suspect have features hidden so deep in menus we’ll never find them all.
The Forerunner 45 can also generate personalized training plans for 5K, 10K and half marathon distances. The watch will coach you through each session, telling you how long to run for and at what pace, and show you how well you’re progressing afterwards – adjusting the plan if needs be. It’s a foolproof way of taking your running to your next level if you want to tackle your first race next year, or improve your times. We’ve used the plans ourselves and were in great shape for a PB (and then COVID postponed our race).
Really, those are all the things a runner needs (runners may want more, but they don’t really need them) which is why we think it’s such a solid pick for new runners, especially as you’re unlikely to progress so far in the sport that you outgrow the watch.
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The limitations of the device are that it’s not a great all-round fitness tracker, but that’s not its purpose. It’s a watch you strap on when you’re going for a run then take off afterwards.
While there is the next-generation Garmin Forerunner 55 to consider, it isn’t featuring in this year’s Black Friday sales, apart from a blink-and-you’ve-missed-it £129.99 at Decathlon. The Forerunner 55 has a bigger battery and suggests running workouts to do each day, adjusted for your level of fitness and how well rested you are. Both are great additions, but we wouldn’t pay another £80 for them.
The Forerunner 45 has been at £109 for the past few days, so experience tells us this may well be a one-day dip in the price of the Forerunner 45, before it returns to £109.
Jonathan Shannon has been the editor of the Coach website since 2016, developing a wide-ranging experience of health and fitness. Jonathan took up running while editing Coach and has run a sub-40min 10K and 1hr 28min half marathon. His next ambition is to complete a marathon. He’s an advocate of cycling to work and is Coach’s e-bike reviewer, and not just because he lives up a bit of a hill. He also reviews fitness trackers and other workout gear.
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