Is the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar the best triathlon watch? – Triathlon Canada magazine
When it comes to the ultimate triathlon watch, it’s hard to imagine what more you could want or need than what you get in Garmin’s 955 Solar. Heck, we loved the Garmin 945 and wondered what more you could want from a triathlon watch, and the 955 is even better.
Now, we understand that many of you will be wondering about the title of this story based on the fact that Garmin has launched the Forerunner 965, which takes things to a new level thanks to the bright AMOLED display of 1. 4 inches. Here’s the reason we’re focusing on the 955 – while the 965 can actually outlast the solar 955 by a few days in smartwatch mode, if you enable always-on display in the 965, the smartwatch mode drops from 23 days to 7 days. That still smashes the competition, but when you consider the Forerunner 955 Solar can get 20 days in smartwatch mode, that makes it a strong contender as a triathlon training watch choice. This is especially true thanks to the solar charging function which extends battery life: an hour of operation in sunny conditions can add 10-15% to the charge.
Don’t get me wrong – if you’re more interested in a smartwatch with a bright display, the 965 might be your best bet. If you’re looking for a watch more geared towards tracking your training and runs that will save you a little money, and last a lot longer between charges, the 955 Solar could be the answer thanks to its battery life. battery life – 20 days in smartwatch mode, 49 hours in GPS mode and up to 110 hours in UltraTrac mode. Although the screen isn’t quite as bright, the color screen offers excellent contrast, so you won’t have any problems seeing your data. You also have the advantage of being able to scroll through the screens thanks to the responsive touchscreen, but for those who still like to use the buttons, it remains the classic five-button configuration that Garmin users are used to.
It’s hard to do justice to all this watch can do without writing a few thousand words. Since we’re not going to get bored with all of this reading, I hope you can trust us that there’s not much the 955 Solar won’t do for you when it comes to training. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect.
This lightweight wonder (52g – only twog heavier than the 945) can sync to your power meter, track your pace, speed or elevation or, well, think of any metric you want and this The watch will even manage oxygen saturation at altitude. When it comes to the basics of tracking swim, bike, and run data, the 955 Solar has you covered. GPS tracking is extremely accurate and you even have access to maps to find out where you are and offer turn-by-turn directions. The optical HR sensor does a great job of tracking heart rate data and you can also sync with the Ant+ and Bluetooth sensors to track other data as well. For us, the ability to sync with Garmin’s Rally pedals is a game-changer – the Forerunner 945 Solar serves as a running watch and bike computer all in one, providing all the data we need for one or the other sport. (The same goes for the pool – the 955 Solar is also a great “swimming watch” and will track distance, pace and stroke rate, and even help you determine your critical swimming speed (CSS) – the pace you should be able to maintain during a running effort.) In terms of running, you have access to power metering, but you’ll need to connect a Running Dynamics Pod or HRM-Pro monitor to get other measures such as cadence, stride length, ground contact time, etc. The PacePro feature will help you stay on pace, even offering grade-adjusted advice and help with terrain-based pace suggestions too.
Garmin launches new Rally power meter pedals
As well as providing great data while you’re swimming, the 955 Solar really shines as a triathlon watch, allowing you to easily track workouts and brick races too. You can even use some Garmin bike computers to mirror your screen while you run, so you don’t have to worry about fiddling with another computer. Once you’ve completed a workout it’s a snap to sync everything, you can use Garmin Connect Mobile on your phone or Garmin Connect on your computer to upload all your data. From there, it’s easy to sync everything to Training Peaks or any training program you use.
Preparation for training
The 945 Solar builds on the impressive features of the 945, including performance prediction and VO2 Max measurement. It goes one step further with the ‘Training Readiness’ feature that helps you determine if you’re ready for a tough day based on your sleep quality, recovery, training load, your heart rate variability and other factors. All of this is provided in a morning report that offers insight into your sleep, recovery, training outlook, and even weather factors. You also have access to adaptive training plans through Garmin Coach, so your day can also start with a suggested workout.
With everything this watch does, it’s worth the time to learn all the ins and outs, but you can definitely get started quickly and easily. The menus are easy to navigate and, for those who have used a Garmin watch before, they will be quite intuitive. The 955 Solar is so small and light compared to other high-end multisport watches that you’ll have no qualms about wearing it all the time to make the most of its many features.
The Forerunner 955 Solar also helps you stay connected during your workout. With 32GB of storage, you can download up to 2,000 songs as well as playlists from various music apps. You can make contactless payments through Garmin Pay and receive emails, texts and alerts if you pair the watch to your Apple or Android phone. You can even control your Tacx Smart trainer via an ANT+ connection. It won’t be long before the 945 Solar becomes an integral part of your day.
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The ultimate triathlon training watch?
For those looking for a high-end multisport watch paired with a high-performance smartwatch, the Garmins 955 Solar is hard to beat. While the Apple Watch Ultra might offer more “smartwatch” functionality, there’s just no comparison in terms of battery life, and you also lose the ability to sync with power pedals. and other ANT+ or Bluetooth equipment.
What we liked most about training with the Forerunner 955 Solar is that it can cover all your training and running needs. If you are traveling and end up renting a bike, if you brought your own electric pedals, you will be able to track all your data without needing to bring a bike computer with you as well. Even if you’re staying at home, the 955 could be the answer if you’re also trying to keep your cockpit as stylish as possible. (Our reviewer found himself in both situations during his review!)
For those who are not die-hard Apple fans, choosing the 955 Solar as your triathlon training watch is definitely one of your best options. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little battery life and pay a little more, the Forerunner 965 is also worth a look. We have a feeling, however, that many serious triathletes will turn to the 955 Solar. And they certainly won’t regret it.