Garmin Forerunner 55 Review – what’s new compared to Forerunner 45?
The Garmin Forerunner 55 has come of age and here is my quick-look review of it. We have some new, high-quality features that make this a sensible first ‘proper’ running watch at around the Eu/£/$200 mark, sure the more expensive Forerunner 245 is better and has MUSIC but is that worth the Eu/£/$50 extra? Let’s see…
Garmin’s entry-level watch is now competent and worth buying. It has had a significant boost in the number of health and fitness features to match ever-improving competitor watches. You would buy a Garmin for the security of knowing it is a ‘just works’ running watch. Even better…it’s great for gym, cycling, swimming and many other class-based sports too like HIIT & Pilates.
- Covers ALL the essential running requirements showing your route, heart rate and speed
- Great range of sleep & stress features like Menstruation tracking
- Solid running features, including several advanced ones like PacePro
- The app can seem complex at first
Garmin FR 55 – What’s New?
The Forerunner 55 is a notable improvement to the Forerunner 45 and adds all these goodies
- Suggested daily workouts – Good
- Recovery time – an hourly countdown until you are next ready to GO FOR IT
- PacePro – race strategies that vary target paces by gradient
- New HIIT sports profiles, swimming, virtual running, Pilates – Perfect additions for this level of watch
- Greater compatibility with Connect IQ (Garmin’s app store) – Better than you think
- Menstrual cycle tracking – Good
- Race time predictor – #Shrug
- Respiration rate recording – Mostly useless
- Intensity minutes – Interesting
- Physiological age – Of Passing interest
- Better GPS battery time – Sometimes highly useful
- Estimated time of arrival
Garmin Forerunner 55 Review – Key, Basic Running Features
- Built-in GPS tracks how far, how fast and where you ran – set this on GPS-only mode to make the battery last longer
- Wrist-based heart rate gives you workout scores and overnight sleep/recovery scores – wear this overnight so that Garmin recovery algorithms work properly
- All-day activity tracking counts steps, calories and sleep
- Daily suggested workouts are the optimal workout tailored for you today – you don’t have to follow these but they are a great way to add variety
- Free Garmin Coach training plans are more structured leading to 5k, 10k or half marathon races (or fitness goals) – structure helps some of us achieve our goals and these plans are good even for 5k runners faster than 25 minutes.
- Safety features let runners send a message with their location to family and friends – peace of mind certainly helps me enjoy running more.
Garmin Forerunner 55 – Key, Advanced Features
These are next-generation tools to give you greater insights and guidance
- PacePro provides guidance to tailor your efforts over a specific course taking into account gradients
- The finish time estimator gives you a race time ETA
- You probably overstride and risk injury. Cadence alerts keep your legs ticking over in the right zone to ultimately help you go faster and avoid injury
- You do other stuff like HIIT, Pilates, treadmill workouts and Swimming, the Forerunner 55 has special modes to guide you and log them all
- Following a workout, the built-in recovery time lets you know how long to wait until your next big workout.
Garmin Forerunner 55 – You still get…
You still get a great range of longstanding Garmin fitness features including these
- On-the-fly intervals, just select your quick interval targets and go
- Garmin Coach – personalised race programs
- Accident detection/SOS message via smartphone
- LiveTrack – Your loved ones can see where you are
- Body battery – check your 24×7 stress
- VO2max – a definitive measure of fitness
Price and release date
Wiggle has US, UK & EU fulfilment
If you are training 2 to 5 times a week then the Garmin Forerunner 55 is the one for you. Only if you are training very seriously, love analysing your data, listening to music or doing triathlon will you need to consider more expensive Garmin watches
The Forerunner 55 is all most recreational athletes need. It perfectly blends running with other sports and with a holistic view of you from your sleep and HRV. Body battery and Menstruation tracking are good features offering further insights.
- Want Music? Get the Forerunner 245 Music
- Want Advanced Running Stuff? Get the Forerunner 245
- Love triathlon? Get the Forerunner 945
- Everyone else? Get this Forerunner 55