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Garmin just gave you a surprising reason not to upgrade your running watch

Garmin Fenix 7 watch
(Image credit: Future)

If you've been thinking about upgrading your Garmin watch, you might want to consider holding off, because one of its best features, real-time stamina, is now rolling out to older watches.

Real time stamina was first introduced with the launch of the Garmin Fenix 7 and Epix earlier this year, and is also included with the newly released Forerunner 255 and 955. Now it's coming to the Forerunner 945 LTE, and other watches may soon follow.

Once you've received the update, you'll be able to see your stamina (your potential for good, productive exercise) live during a running or cycling activity. This lets you know whether you can afford to push harder, or should dial back the effort to avoid bottoming out, resulting in poor performance at the end (and generally feeling lousy).

Garmin's method for calculating stamina uses your VO2 Max, distance, activity intensity profile, duration, and training load accumulation, but it's easiest to think of as simply the amount of gas left in the tank.

As the5krunner (opens in new tab) reports, real-time stamina is now coming to the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE via a software update. The tool is currently rolling out to users in Garmin's public beta program (opens in new tab), but will hopefully arrive on the wrists of all watch owners soon.

Push it to the limit

There's no word yet on when the feature will be rolling out to more of its best GPS watches including the regular Forerunner 945 and the Fenix 6, but we're cautiously optimistic.

This won't be the first time Garmin has debuted a feature in a new watch, then rolled it out to older models (a process known as backporting). For example, the Fenix 6 recently gained several features from the Garmin Fenix 7, including support for pickelball, tennis, padel, and snowshoeing activities, plus new cycling activities.

If it continues the same pattern, it's possible that the new native running power metric that debuted with the Forerunner 955 might make its way onto older devices in the near future as well.

That's something to bear in mind when you're poring over this year's Amazon Prime Day Garmin watch deals – Amazon is likely to be clearing out stock of older models, but choosing a watch that's a couple of years old doesn't necessarily mean missing out on the latest tools. A previous-gen Garmin could be a really good investment, particularly with a hefty price cut.

Cat Ellis
Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).