The Forerunner series has always been Garmin’s intro to GPS running watches. Now, they have released the new Forerunner 255 series, which offers recovery information, training suggestions and performance monitoring tools to help improve the training of the everyday runner.

Photo: Garmin 2022

The Forerunner 255 has everything Garmin users enjoyed from the 245 series, plus new additional features, like morning report, body battery, running power and multi-band GPS triathlon features, which help you to toggle between sports. Some of my other favourite new features include improved training status, and the new race goal widget: providing race prep information, a countdown, weather and workout suggestions for your upcoming race.

Morning report

One of the coolest new features of the Forerunner 255 is the morning report that appears on the watch every morning as you wake up. When the watch is connected to a compatible smartphone, it shows the weather conditions, daily training suggestions, as well as information about the previous night’s sleep and HRV status (heart rate variability). The report can even be customized so the user can see the data they want. Specifically, HRV status makes it possible to track heart rate variability during sleep to better control recovery and overall health.

The Morning Report feature on the Garmin Forerunner 255. Photo: Garmin 2022

Battery life and music

The Forerunner 255 offers a 30-hour battery life in GPS mode and 6.5 hours in music mode and up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, which is similar to other mid-range devices on the market. The watch can store up to 500 songs from Spotify, Amazon, Music and Deezer playlists (a premium subscription is required for all music streaming services). I found the integration from Spotify to the watch to be fairly seamless and easy to connect to and from your wireless Bluetooth headphones.

Body battery

This feature shows current energy levels to help athletes find the best times for activity and rest. Each morning, athletes will receive a personalized score based on sleep quality and will also see the different stages they have gone through, as well as data on heart rate, stress, pulse and breathing.

Running power

The running power function is brand new to the Forerunner series, which projects a continuous measurement on the wrist to know of how much power you are applying while running on the roads or trails when using a running dynamics pod or a Garmin PRO heart rate monitor. This data provides the same power metrics similar to those provided for other sports, such as cycling and cross-country skiing.

The new race goal widget on the Forerunner 255. Photo: Garmin 2022

The verdict

The Forerunner 255 Music does everything you need in a running GPS watch: it measures distance, shows live and average pace and calculates calories burned. What makes this watch so special is its training and recovery benefits. This isn’t just a watch to wear while you work out, I found I got the most accurate training data while wearing it 24/7.

The music component of the watch is easy to use and can lighten your load by leaving your phone at home. The 255 feels like you have a personal coach living on your wrist with its in-depth training data and recovery tools, such as body battery and training load, which looks at your past seven days of workouts and recovery and lets you know if your training is going in the right direction.

This watch is ideal for first-time marathon runners without a coach or group to train with. The coaching feature keeps you accountable and the recovery metrics helps ensures you are ready for your workouts, which will help you crush your goal come race day.

The Garmin Forerunner 255 was released earlier this month, starting at $460 (without music) and $520 for the music version.

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