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Garmin Forerunner 45 Review

Garmin Forerunner 45 Review

Avid runners and marathon competitors need to stay on top of their training and track their goals to keep progressing. A great way to keep up with athletic performance is investing in a GPS watch such as the Garmin Forerunner 45 and 45s. 

The Garmin Forerunner 45 series has tons of great features that can aid you in your journey of athletic training, including live coaches, daily health and athletic statistics, safety systems, and more. We think this is an excellent pick, which is why this Garmin Forerunner 45 review is next on our list. 

  • Live coaches to keep you on track with your fitness goals
  • Quickly get notifications from your phone to your wrist.
  • Lightweight and comfortable fit
  • Incident detection adds to safety and security.

Garmin Forerunner 45 Overview

The Garmin Forerunner comes in two sizes: the 42mm Garmin Forerunner 45 and the 39mm Garmin Forerunner 45s. Aside from the size, these two styles are identical. This GPS watch comes in a variety of colors with a battery and charger included. 

The Garmin Forerunner 45 and 45s come with a built-in heart monitor and GPS that can track distance, pace, calories, and more. The Garmin Forerunner stands out from the popular Apple watch because of its focus on sports performance. 

Garmin does a great job showing they care about their customers and meeting their customer’s needs. They strive to make products that are environmentally conscious with minimal impact on the environment. They are a leading company around the world and have been creating innovative and superior products since 1989.


  • Live coaches to keep you on track with your fitness goals
  • Quickly get notifications from your phone to your wrist.
  • Lightweight and comfortable fit
  • Incident detection adds to safety and security.


  • Limited options for sport profiles only allowing six profiles at a time
  • Cannot download third-party apps
  • Casual appearance better suited to workout apparel
Pros and Cons of the Garmin Forerunner 45

Things to Consider Before Buying the Garmin Forerunner 45

Garmin engineers this watch so athletes can get clear, accurate data to help them progress and stick to their goals. Garmin made sure this watch has everything for runners to make training easy, which means this watch is best for beginner runners and marathon trainers. 


Athletes in other areas can also benefit from the Garmin Forerunner 45 as it has different sports profiles, including cycling, treadmills, indoor track, yoga, and more. The downside is you can only have six profiles on your watch at a time. This watch has tons of value for athletes at an affordable price. 


If you are looking for more of a lifestyle watch, this Garmin might not be for you. Because it has such a strong focus on sports performance, it’s other non-sport related features do not compare as well to other watches.


Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re considering the Garmin Forerunner 45:


  1. Am I looking for mainly tracking athletic goals?
  2. What kind of data am I looking for?
  3. Do I need a watch that helps me connect and share my fitness journey with others?
  4. Am I looking for a watch that can cover a large variety of sports profiles?

Features and Benefits

Now let’s dive into all the features and benefits you get from the Garmin Forerunner 45 and 45s. 


The built-in GPS means you can easily track help and athletic performance without relying on your phone or other resources. GPS is used to track multiple statistics as you exercise. It can keep track of the distance and path you ran, the speed and pace with which you ran, and your cadence, which is essential for beginner runners. 


We have noticed the GPS takes a little longer to connect compared to other models. You’ll want to make sure your GPS is up and running before taking off, so it doesn’t skew your data. The GPS tracking and stats are accurate and what you would expect for the price range. 

Fitness tracking Forerunner 45

Heart Rate Monitor

The heart rate monitor tracks your heart rate 24/7 but does not include the PulseOx monitor that the Forerunner 245 and above have. The 45 also tracks your resting heart rate over seven days. The watch alerts you if it detects something abnormal, and your resting rate goes about 100 bpm.


This watch also has a VO2 Max estimator that can help you further monitor athletic performance and compares this to where others perform at your age

Garmin 45 Vo2 Max

Activity Tracker

The Garmin Forerunner 45 includes 24/7 activity tracking, including step counts, heart rate,  and sleep cycles. It also provides something called Body Battery that takes the stats from your sleep, heart rate, and activity to estimate your energy levels throughout the day. 


You can enter your activity and intensity goals and opt to get reminders to get up and get moving if you have not met your target steps or activity. You do have the option of turning this feature off if this is not something you want distracting you throughout the day.


It can also use your heart rate to track your stress levels. When you are feeling stressed, tracking can help you be more conscious of how everyday stressors can affect you and remind you to take a break here and there to lower your heart rate. 

Stress Level

Connect IQ

The Connect IQ store allows you to download many different apps and resources to meet your individual needs better. It’s easy to download and navigate and includes extra apps such as different watch faces, training metric apps, elevation readers, and even games. 

Watch Design

This watch has a simple, casual design. This simple design is excellent for the gym or training and goes well with casual attire. It may look out of place with anything more business or formal. 


The watch is lightweight, making it comfortable to wear for long periods. It comes in a variety of colors and two sizes: 42mm and 39mm. 


The Garmin Forerunner 45 is user friendly and easy to control and navigate. The bright 208×208 color display makes it easy to read for quick measures during exercise. 


There are five buttons used to navigate, and the menu is straightforward. It comes with a silicone strap that adds to its comfort during running and exercising, and the plastic frame keeps extra weight off. 


You can swim with this watch as it is waterproof to 50 meters. The sport profiles do not include swimming, so they cannot accurately track data during this kind of exercise. 

Wrist Based Sensor Forerunner

Garmin Coach

With this watch, you’ll have access to three professional coaches who can help you meet your running goals. You get to set your goals, and the training sessions are customized directly for you. You can set goals for 5km, 10km, and half marathons. 


You can customize these goals even further by deciding if you want to meet a specific finish time or simply complete the distance run. You can add in other information such as your preferred exercise days and your current pace. 


These coaching sessions are easy to set up and start right away. You’ll start with a benchmark run to get a baseline of stats, and your training progresses using real data from each session. 


It even alters its coaching plan to keep you on track if you miss a day or didn’t perform up to the target level that day. Having a coach to hold you accountable and help you plan your training sessions can motivate you to stay on track and work harder. 


The 45 lets you control your music right from your watch. You can receive notifications from your smartphone and download different faces with different control options. Some of the messages you can obtain on your watch include calls, texts, Facebook notifications, Instagram DMs, and more. 

Functions Garmin Forerunner 35


The Garmin Forerunner 45 comes with a durable, long-lasting battery. It can run up to a week on smartwatch mode without needing a charge and up to 13 hours while tracking GPS. 

When the battery does eventually run out, charging is quick, and you can see a full charge within an hour and a half. Switching off smartphone notifications can increase the life of the battery. 

Incident Detection

One of the best features of this watch is its safety. This Garmin watch comes with incident detection, which means it can detect an incident while running, walking, or biking, and send your emergency contacts and alert with a LiveTrack link and your GPS location. This can bring peace of mind to athletes and families who live in more remote areas or train at night or secluded trails

Assistance and Incident Portection

Reviews of the Garmin Forerunner 45

The Garmin Forerunner 45 is a favorite among runners for a good reason. It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon with over 1,100 customer reviews. 

Reviews on Google FR 45


The Garmin Forerunner 45 and 45s may not be the right fit for you for different reasons. If this is the case, here are some great alternatives that will give you just as much value. 

Garmin 235

The Garmin 235 is the closest in price with the same value. This watch is a little older but is still a runner’s favorite. The Garmin 235 used to be priced higher, but the cost has come down since newer models have been introduced. 

Coros Pace

The Coros Pace is a great alternative if you are looking for a brand outside of Garmin. You will get similar features at a comparable value. 

Garmin 245

The Garmin 245 gives you a little bit more than the 45 if you are more advanced and looking for more specific ways to track your training. 

Final Thoughts

The Garmin Forerunner 45 is one of the best GPS watches out there for runners, and we end this article with a positive Garmin Forerunner 45 review. You’ll get excellent value while still staying at an affordable price. 


This watch’s easy tracking ability allows you to get immediate stats on athletic performance, including heart rate, calories burned, distance, pace, and more. 


The Garmin Forerunner 45 is versatile and customizable with many different apps and resources on the Connect IQ store. You can be sure you meet your athletic goals with this helpful tool. 

Picture of John Doe

John Doe

This article was written by the editorial staff of the Canaan Valle Running Company and Robby McClung. Robby is the founder of the Canaan Valley Running Company. You can read more in the about section of the website on Robby and the Canaan Valley Running Company.

  • Live coaches to keep you on track with your fitness goals
  • Quickly get notifications from your phone to your wrist.
  • Lightweight and comfortable fit
  • Incident detection adds to safety and security.

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