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Garmin Forerunner 745 Review

As an athlete, you know the importance of tracking your metrics. Measuring your heart rate, step count, and speed are vital metrics you need to follow. 


With Garmin’s Forerunner brand of watches, you can set goals, analyze select metrics, and even sync the information to your other devices. 


While many of the watches are ideal for runners, the newest Garmin Forerunner 745 that came out in September 2020 is perfect for triathletes. 


Whether you’re training for the next triathlon, half marathon or trying to get in better shape, our Garmin Forerunner 745 review will tell you everything you need to know about this new watch.

  • Metrics for biking, running, and swimming
  • Extensive outdoor activity profiles from kayaking to skiing
  • Streams music
  • Workout suggestions
  • ConnectIQ options for applications

Garmin Forerunner 745 Overview

The American multinational Garmin company has been creating wearable technology for over 40 years. In addition to making watches for athletes, they make automotive, marine, and aviation technology.


Nevertheless, people around the world recognize the Garmin name thanks to their advanced watches. 


The Forerunner series of Garmin watches are specifically for runners and multi-sport athletes. This particular 745 watch replaced the 735XT version. 


This newer version has added the following features: daily workout suggestions, onboard music, longer GPS battery life, and incident detection. 


Even though this watch is part of the 700 series, it has much more in common with the top multi-sport 935 watch. It has features for runners, cyclists, swimmers, and, of course, triathletes. My favorite thing about the Forerunner 745 watch is that it has most of the sleek 945 watch’s features but at a lower price



  • Metrics for biking, running, and swimming
  • Extensive outdoor activity profiles from kayaking to skiing
  • Streams music
  • Workout suggestions
  • ConnectIQ options for applications


  • Higher price than some other Forerunner watches
  • Lower battery life than the 945
Pros and Cons of the Garmin Forerunner 745

Main Features of the Garmin Forerunner 745

Let’s look at all the incredible features of the new Forerunner 745 and see what improvements Garmin made from the 735XT!

General Design

Similar to other Garmin watches, the Forerunner 745 has a sleek yet durable look. You can choose between the black, teal, red, and white models.  

Display and Size

Compared to previous designs, the Forerunner 745 has a slightly smaller size. Its complete measurements are 42.8 mm x 42.8 mm by 13.3 mm, and the display screen is 1.2 inches in diameter. 


The changes from the 735XT are slight, but it may feel a bit smaller on your hand. However, its weight has increased to 47 grams or 0.10 pounds. 


The Garmin 745 also has a durable lens material made from Corning Gorilla Glass DX. A fiber-reinforced polymer bezel surrounds the screen and adds plenty of protection. 


Even though the screen may be slightly smaller than the previous model, underneath the durable glass, the display has an impressive resolution of 240 by 240 pixels. It also has transflective memory-in-pixel technology and is completely visible in direct sunlight. 

Water Resistance

Since this is a triathlon watch, the level of water resistance is vital. Garmin has its own water-resistance ranking scale, with IPX7 being the least water-resistant, and the Dive model can withstand incredible water pressure. 

Of these seven levels, the Forerunner 745 ranks on the 5th level of 5ATM. The watch can withstand water pressure up to 50-meter depths. In other words, you can do everything from running in the rain to snorkeling with the Garmin 745.

Battery and Memory

For me, one of the most critical features of an athletic GPS watch is battery life. I have too often ended up with no power in the middle of a workout or marathon. 

Unfortunately, the Garmin 745 watch does not have great battery life. While it may be enough for a decent workout, it does not last as long as its predecessor. 

The 745 only lasts for seven days in the SmartWatch mode (compare that to the 11 days provided by the 735XT). If you switch it to the GPS mode, the battery has a life of 16 hours. However, that number decreases to only 6 hours if you listen to music. Finally, the UltraTrac mode lasts for about 21 hours. 

In terms of memory, the Garmin 745 has decent storage capability. You can keep up to 200 hours of activity data. 

Health Monitoring

The previous 735XT model only had five health features. The 745 really steps it up a notch and lets you analyze your health with an impressive 13 applications. 

In addition to monitoring your heart rate with wrist monitors, the watch keeps track of your daily resting rate and looks for any concerning abnormalities. If you suddenly have a high or low heart rate, the watch sends you an alert. 

I love the additions of a stress monitor and the Body Battery energy monitor. These features track your levels throughout the day and give you reports on how much energy you have left to use for the day.

Another excellent health feature is the Pulse OX monitor that tracks your blood oxygen saturation levels. As you run through varying altitudes, you can track how your body adjusts to those changes.


The watch has incredible sensors to keep track of all these metrics. Again, the 745 has vast improvements on the sensors from the 735XT model.


In addition to the various GPS sensors, you can access a compass, thermometer, accelerometer, barometric altimeter, heart rate monitor, and a blood oxygen saturation monitor.

Safety and Tracking Features

I love running in the woods and through parks, but there is a higher risk of accidents in those locations. The Forerunner 745 understands that and includes unique safety features that make me confident enough to leave my phone at home. 


It offers single and group live-tracking features, as well as a live event sharing with your android device. 


In case of an emergency, the watch has an incident detection service and can help you call for assistance.

Activity Tracking Features

For general sporting activities, the Forerunner 745 includes plenty of metrics you can track. For example, you can measure everything from the number of steps you have taken to how many floors you have climbed. 


Another excellent tracking feature is the number of intensity minutes. I enjoy using this to see how much of my workout I was pushing myself further than average.


The watch also learns from the amount of activity you regularly do and automatically sets a set goal for each day. 

Training and Planning Features

Setting workout goals for yourself usually only involves a variety of exercises and a specific time limit for each one. However, the Forerunner 745 helps you take that athletic planning to the next level. 


You can set zones for your average and vigorous heart rate, choose which features you would like to analyze, and even race an activity. 


Make sure to set up heart rate alerts, customize your data pages, and download new training plans to design the most efficient, personalized workout plan. 

Garmin 745 Review Training Features

Cycling Features

Whether you are a triathlete or only love biking, the 745 has incredible features to analyze every possible metric. 


Choose from various cycling profiles and set up your personal alerts regarding heart rate, calories, and reaching your distance goal. You can also set a course and race an activity. Plus, the watch is compatible with a head-mounted display and rear-facing radar.

Running Features

Since the Forerunner watches are incredibly popular with runners, the 745 includes plenty of features to cater specifically to these athletes. 


Some notable aspects include tracking the ground contact time, stride length, cadence, and vertical oscillation. These metrics will help you analyze how efficiently you are running and what you can improve. 


With PacePro, you can also learn various pacing strategies. You can also utilize the lactate threshold and performance condition to take a detailed look at your fitness level and muscle strength.

Swimming Features

The watch has profiles for pool swimming, open-water swimming, and swim-run if you love water workouts. 


You can track your stroke distance, efficiency, stroke rate, and pace all from the Forerunner 745 watch. You can set it to detect which stroke you are using and establish a basic rest time in the pool. 


Other great additions include a countdown start, drill logging, underwater heart rate, and various swimming workouts.

Reviews of the Forerunner 745

Even though the Forerunner 745 is extremely new, Garmin enthusiasts quickly posted their opinions about the watch. I scoured the internet and read people’s views on this new watch. 

Overall, opinions are very positive. The only complaints were about the short battery life and the higher price. Nonetheless, the majority of the comments raved about the new watch.

Google Reviews of the Garmin 745

Alternatives to the Garmin Forerunner 745

Choosing a sports watch is a big – and often costly – decision. As you consider buying the Forerunner 745, make sure to consider other alternatives like the following. 

Garmin 945

Athletes generally consider the Forerunner 745 to be a mid-range multi-sport watch while the 945 is the ultimate package. 

We mentioned before that they share numerous features. They have the same look and feel, decent music storage, race predictors, and VO2 max estimation. 

The 745 would be ideal for intermediate athletes that still need some training guidance. The Forerunner 945 doesn’t have some of the beginner options, like daily workout suggestions.

While the 745 is slightly cheaper than the 945, the prices are very similar. You can get the 945 with better battery life, offline maps, and more storage for just a little bit more money. 

When deciding between the Forerunner 745 and 945, it really comes down to your experience level and what beginner or advanced features you need in a watch

Garmin 245

The Garmin 245, like the 745, is relatively new. It recently replaced the 235 and now includes plenty of useful features. 

In general, the 245 and 745 models are quite comparable, but the main difference is that the 245 caters more to runners than triathletes. While the 245 does have some cycling and swimming features, it doesn’t include a barometric altimeter, additional workouts, and numerous multi-sport features. 

If you are looking for a high-quality watch with excellent health and running aspects, the Forerunner 245 could be a great alternative to the 745. Plus, it is significantly cheaper!

Coros Apex

If you want to choose a different watch brand, the Coros Apex could be a solid choice. The price is significantly lower than the Garmin 745, and it comes with much better battery life (it can last up to 100 hours in GPS mode and 30 days in regular mode).

If you are looking for a watch with better battery life and a cheaper price tag, the Coros Apex is a great option

Final Thoughts

From beginners to experts, all athletes need to track their metrics to improve their speed and efficiency. One of the best ways to do that is with a small, compact watch like the Garmin Forerunner 745. 

Not only does it offer numerous health features, workout plans, and tracking features, but it also covers multiple sports profiles. I particularly like the added safety features and detailed health analytics. 

After reading this Garmin 745 review, check out the watch and see for yourself if it is a good fit for your athletic goals. 

Picture of Robby McClung

Robby McClung

This article was written by the editorial staff of the Canaan Valley 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.

  • Metrics for biking, running, and swimming
  • Extensive outdoor activity profiles from kayaking to skiing
  • Streams music
  • Workout suggestions
  • ConnectIQ options for applications

Garmin Forerunner 745 Reviews and “vs Posts”

Interested in how the Garmin 745 stands up against other watches? Check out these reviews. 



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