Garmin Starts Roll-out of PacePro to FR945 and FR245, Also Adds More Data Fields Per Page


Here’s a Thursday quick heads up for ya – Garmin has begun the roll-out of PacePro to the Forerunner 945 and FR245/FR245M series watches. You might remember PacePro was introduced on the Fenix 6 about two months ago, and essentially gives mile by mile (or kilometer by kilometer, or even random chunk by random chunk) pacing guidance for races by looking at the terrain and your pacing goals (including time and distance, but also details such as negative split or positive split). It’s like the old-school pace bands that you see at marathons with your splits for it but with way more smarts in it.

It’s super cool tech, but is also something that’s actually more than meets the eye under the covers. Specifically – Garmin designed it to be extensible. Meaning that as they get past this particular firmware update to these devices, they’ll be looking at how to make tweaks to it. Be it covering more use cases, or bringing in partners to leverage it. For example, the way Garmin Connect plops files on the watches was designed to be open to allow 3rd parties to create files as well.

Right now for example it’s specifically for running, but it’d be easy to see how this could be extended to cycling (primarily time trials/triathlons). That would make it super appealing for companies like Best Bike Split to leverage it for better guidance than the somewhat cumbersome methods that have to put up with today for real-time pacing guidance.

Finally, for the FR945 (but not FR245), you’ll now be able to add either 5 or 6 data metrics/fields per page instead of the previous 4. Again, another change that was previously introduced on the Fenix 6.

How PacePro Works:


Now if you’re unfamiliar with PacePro, I’m going to copy/paste my section from the Fenix 6 Review on it here below (with some minor tweaks). I’d happily go out and re-shoot this entire thing on the FR945, but I live in a place whereby an errant bread crumb on the top of a desk has more altitude than my surrounding terrain. Certainly you can still use PacePro in flat-terrain situations to do negative/positive splits. But the real magic is the ability to handle more volatile terrain such as climbs or descents and pacing those. The next time I travel somewhere I’ll get some more pics.

Now starting with the basics of PacePro– think of it first like one of those pace bands that any marathoner is undoubtedly familiar with, this makes it all electronic. But even more than that, it automatically calculates each split (miles or kilometers) based on the elevation profile of the course you’re doing. In turn, you then get individual split targets for each mile raced.

But wait, we’re not done yet. Atop all that, you’ve got two specific levers to tweak: Intensity of hills (how hard you run them), and then whether you positive or negative split the race/course – and to what extent. Don’t worry, I’ll demo all this.

So to start, this feature is available on both the Pro and non-Pro Fenix 6 models, MARQ, as well as the Garmin FR945 and FR245/245 Music. However, if using it on the non-Pro Fenix 6 & FR245 models, you’ll need to have the course already created (so it has access to the elevation data). Whereas on the Fenix 6 Pro/MARQ/FRR945 models you can actually create a course on the fly on a watch (since it has the elevation data from the maps on those watches), and then execute a PacePro strategy upon it from the watch. I suspect though that 99.99% of you, no matter which version you have, will be creating courses online and sending them to your device. Note that when doing it from the watch (versus Garmin Connect Mobile), you can’t adjust the various sliders that you see down below. As such, I’d really just recommend doing it from the app and sending it to your watch to execute.

First, you start off in the area to choose/create a course, and you’ll see the ability to choose PacePro. From there you’re given the option to load a course or not:

2019-08-26 04.00.21 2019-08-26 04.00.28

Technically speaking you don’t even need to load a course. You can simply use an assumed flat course profile and then do positive/negative splits based on a given time goal or pace goal. Which gets us to the next bit – choosing that goal. You can tweak this later easily if you want, but you need to choose either a time or pace goal. In my case I set up a loop around NYC’s Central Park and went with a sub-7/mile pace goal. Knowing I’d be coming off a transatlantic flight and running this 90 minutes later, I kept things civilized:

2019-08-26 04.00.41 2019-08-29 01.17.22

Next, you’ll be brought to this screen that shows the course profile with color-coding on it. You can expand this and zoom in however you’d like:

2019-08-29 01.17.27 2019-08-29 01.17.31

But the real magic happens down below. That’s where you can dork with two levers. The first one adjusts whether you want to positive or negative split the course (meaning, get faster over the course, or fade over the course). And the second one adjusts how hard you run the hills.  As you adjust those sliders, you’ll see that both the split targets down below change, as well as the split targets over the elevation up above:

2019-08-26 04.01.28 2019-08-26 04.01.25

It’s frankly kinda fun to play with this. You can do it all day long. Once you’re done, you’ll send this to your watch and it’ll sync via Bluetooth Smart.

Also of note – is that you can create the ‘splits’ based not just on per-mile or per-kilometer, but per elevation changes. So you can divide them up between downhill sections vs uphill sections vs flats, etc… Which frankly, makes a lot of sense.

Next, back on your watch you’ll go to the running activity and load the PacePro strategy up. These actually are files similar to course/workout files that you’ll find on your watch (for those geeks in the house). On the watch it’ll show you some of the stats for that PacePro session:

DSC_5830 DSC_5831 DSC_5832

And then, off you go (once you press start). The watch will then show your target pace (7:00) on the top line, followed by your current pace for that split on the second line (6:35). You can see here I’m overachieving (hey, I’m still getting used to trusting a watch on pacing like this):

2019-08-26 15.35.04-1-1

Then down below you’ve got distance remaining (0.75) in that lap (either 1 kilometer or 1 mile depending on how you’ve set it up), and then below that you’ve got whether or not you’re ahead or behind for the entire race, and by how much (-0:07).

What’s notable here is is that it locks to your GPS location on the predefined course (think of it like a train track, or roller coaster ride), rather than your watch distance the GPS has measured. This has its pros and cons.

On the plus side, this means that if your GPS accuracy goes to crap (such as with a tunnel, or just life in general), then it doesn’t impact PacePro. That’s really really cool, and is considerably different than something like Virtual Partner or any other pacing functionality. On the downside though, if there’s a difference between the route/course you created in Garmin Connect (or wherever) and the course that you’re running – then you’re up crap-creek. That could happen if either there’s a change on race day due to some road scenario, or if the route you created on GC has unnoticed anomalies in it.

In fact, that’s exactly what happened to me with my NYC Central Park course. I thought I had created a loop around the main road, but upon closer inspection at numerous points along the route the Garmin Connect course creator took short detours. Often only 50-150 meters each, but there was a pile of them, usually just briefly to nearby sidewalks and back. But they added up – and they’re virtually impossible to see unless you zoom way in.

2019-08-29 01.29.23 2019-08-29 01.29.52

Now back in August when I did this test in NYC, I ran into issues with the underlying map. Garmin did some digging into it (ok, a lot of digging) and it was mostly as I suspected: My initial route had errors in it. Though, I argued that if I quickly create a loop around Central Park (likely one of the most popular running loops in the world), it should be able to do that without screwing it up. And they agreed. After which, they did some stuff.

Unfortunately, it still seems to struggle in the route creation department in NYC Central Park (specifically, it often jumps back and forth between the different running/walking paths – causing weird hops). I get it, the heatmap data for Central Park has to be bonkers to contend with. And indeed, if I try less crazy places like here in Amsterdam (which actually has more ancillary bike/ped paths alongside every road) it handles it better, likely because the underlying popularity data is a bit cleaner. Simple lesson though: Just double (or triple) check your exact route in Garmin Connect Mobile before you move onto the PacePro bits.

In any event, that issue aside, the entire functionality of it worked awesomely on the watch itself. It was surprisingly motivating to just focus on a single lap, but more importantly – getting different splits each time. It took my mind off of the larger prize, and had my brain focus on one thing at a time. Well done.

Getting your device updated:


Now, the roll-out is being done in phased fashion (like most of Garmin’s recent firmware rollouts), which is mostly done to lessen the impact of an issue in the event something is found that wasn’t caught in testing. These firmware updates contain more than just the PacePro features, it actually has other new features and a slate of bug fixes as well as sensor changes. As we’ve seen recently with iOS13 (for both Apple & Garmin), Bluetooth changes, in particular, can be incredibly tough to predict with large scale audiences. Here’s the list for the FR945:


And the list for the FR245:


Roughly 20% of users would have received the update (or the ability to get the update) last night, and then Garmin says if everything checks out over the course of the day, they’ll continue with the phased roll-out over the next 4-5 days, so that all users will have the update by early next week.

There’s a pile of ways you can get the update:

A) Automagically it’ll just happen behind the scenes whereby the device will receive it and install it around 1-2AM quietly
B) You can go into the watch if nearby WiFi and go to Settings > WiFi > WiFi Sync and force an update check
C) You can connect your watch via USB to PC or Mac and use the Garmin Express app
D) You can connect your watch via USB to PC or Mac and use the older Garmin WebUpdater

Of course, all of these will still be dependent on you winning the firmware update lottery. I’d love to see Garmin offer the ability to simply manually download the firmware update file (like they do for public beta users) in the event you’re eager to get started. Perhaps simply providing a link from the Garmin Forums post that a Garmin employee publishes for each new firmware update (it’s also where they list the phased status). To me that strikes a nice balance, and probably gets critical feedback back to Garmin faster than waiting for the average user to run into unexpected issues.

In any case – go forth and update…and then race. Though, I think we’ve passed many of the major US/European fall marathons at this point. Actually, there’s still my personal favorite (and marathon PR, throw-back post here) – the Philly Marathon. And Seattle too! Both are coming up in a couple of weeks. Good luck!

With that – thanks for reading!


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  1. Kaveh

    Hi Ray,
    Any idea if this will ever roll out to the Fenix 5+?

    • Robert B

      Not a chance, Time to throw some hard earned money at Garmin. I’m in the same boat with my 645, if history repeats I’ve only got till March to wait for a replacement. For me it’ll be interesting what they bring to the table regarding the “655” seeing as the 245 now eclipses my current watch. All the new watches have the Sony chipset for a start, which will no doubt impact software or hardware dependencies. So yeah nothing coming out way

    • I haven’t heard any plans to bring anything new to the Fenix 5 series (plus or otherwise).

      I’ve gotta ask when they wake up on the FR645. Imho, given it shares the same x45 designator – I feel like it should get this. Even more so given the FR245 has it. I know it came out almost two years ago, but there is no replacement for that particular device at this point and I think it’s a great example of why people get frustrated with Garmin over updates being inconsistent.

      Again – I haven’t asked about the FR645, so it’s plausible there’s some update tomorrow in which case you can just ‘nevermind’ my comment above. ;)

    • Martin

      so no chance for a PacePro on 935 :(

    • Dave Lusty

      The problem is that the release date of the device is irrelevant. The hardware series is more important. For instance the Fenix 5 and 935 are the same underlying hardware, as are the Fenix 6 and 945. The 645 is, I think, an older generation of hardware so may be less capable than the 245.
      From my perspective, Garmin need to move to a model where they just sell hardware models with various features, and then everything gets all the features it can support. They seem to be waking up to this, but not there yet. In spite of all the mean things I say about Suunto, they really have nailed this with Spartan and later stuff. If there’s a baro, you get baro and if not you don’t, but you get essentially the same software (third party licensing aside!).
      It absolutely doesn’t bother me that I’m lacking Fenix 6 features on my 5+. Map colouring is an example – I can believe better hardware is needed to render maps in real time without killing the battery. It really does bother me when they are really simple software tweaks that the watch would support, such as the new widgets. The code is written and compatible so where’s the harm? It would actually reduce support costs to consolidate the code as much as possible too.

    • Hugo

      That was the frustration that made me change to another watch. There were other issues that I could live with, but this inconsistency is just too much.

    • Aaron

      Any word from Garmin in the FR645 yet? I own one myself, and would love to use the feature on it if/when it becomes available

    • CJOttawa

      My suspicion is the 645 predated the CPU upgrades the rest of the x45 line and that’s the limiting factor. It lacks the Body Battery FirstBeat metric too – shares more in common with a 935 than a 945.

    • inSyt

      The 245 is $299, for $100 more you can get the 935 with baro+gyro+temp sensors, maps, multisport, golf and more firstbeat metrics. The only sticking point is the lack of PacePro for runners.

    • Jeff Bartlett

      Exactly! Garmin should save a lot of production cost and make money at the same time, by selling different applications to relevant models that could run them.

    • Gary B

      2 months later and no PacePro for the 645. Looks like the hardware must have prevented it.

      Garmin didn’t really think too far ahead when releasing 245 and 945. Maybe they should have just gone with 246 and 946.

      I also noticed today that 645 has been removed from Garmin website, well the Garmin AU website anyway.

    • Michael

      Hi there,
      as far as I see it there is no pacepro for FR645m up till now.
      Is there any hope left?
      thx and best regards,

    • Dean

      I just picked up a 645M thinking it had pacepro since the 245 I was looking at certainly did…sigh. There are too many damn details to check off when buying these things.

      Has Garmin Pay – oh but not in Canada.
      Has Music – oh but you need to buy a premium subscription
      Has All the same features of the 245 and more – oh but not the core training one…FFS!

    • John Reinke

      Dean – I have a different model which plays music, and I did’t need a premium subscription to use the music features. I add my own music files to the device with the Gamin Express application on the PC.

    • Luke

      How did a feature that didn’t exist at all on any watch, anywhere, a year ago become “the core training one”?

      And to be honest, literally the lightest bit of research would have told you all 3 of those things in the first 5 minutes.

    • Dean

      I was doing most of my research on the 245, then I read an article which said the 645 had the features of the 245 and more. So I guess I took that at face value.

      I was aware of the Garmin pay and Music limitations prior to my purchase. The point I was making was that there are a ton of “gotcha’s” in the fine print.

      Virtual Pacing/Pace Pro has been around for years, it always just seems to allude the Garmin watch I end up with for whatever reason.

    • Dean Pitts

      I’ve been using Google Play (now YouTube Music) for years now. I barely “own” any of my content but rather stream it or download it via this service. I transferred the little content I did have to the device which will get me by for now.

    • Danilo

      Hey… any updates on having a pacepro in my FR645M? It’s been a while… really frustrating to see the 245 get this feature and 645 nothing…

    • I confirmed that the ship has sailed on feature updates for the FR645. :(

      I don’t agree with it…but, that’s the boat it is.

  2. Frank-enstein

    I love Pacepro, though wish the degree of +/- toggles for hills and beginning versus ending miles were a little more substantial.

    Or maybe it’s me that should stop going out so fast and burning out – – either way.

  3. Sanjay

    Hi Ray. Thanks for the update: Small typo in : “done to lesson the impact”

  4. Ruben

    Hi Ray,

    Can I expect this update for my vivoactive 4?


    • You would think based on it being more expensive than the FR245 it would be…but I haven’t heard anything there (or for Venu). It’s a good example of why Garmin needs to figure out a way to via some mechanism (paid or otherwise) allow people to add features to watches between those lines.

    • Luca

      Yeah, that’s exactly what I was telling to a friend of mine a couple of days ago. I have a fr245, I’m super happy with it, and I’ll have no problem paying some extra $ to Garmin via ConnectIQ Store to add for example the native open water swimming activity profile to my watch. It’s something I’m pretty sure the device is capable of but of course Garmin have no interest including it on a watch at that price point.

  5. Immer

    Any more specifics on the further treadmill calibration fix or just “we’re working on it” like the release says?

    • Only thing I’ve heard is the ‘we’re working on it’ bit. I did note yesterday to them that as some people start to transition indoors, it becomes more and more of an issue.

    • What’s the issue with it now? I haven’t noticed anything on my 945. Will it adjust the laps?

    • Benedikt

      David: It doesn’t save the calibration (Im one of the 80% standing in the rain, so can’t say how the fix is working). The watches are far of by easy 20% and don’t apply calibration. If you choose calibrate and safe, only the total distance of the activity was changed.

  6. tudor

    hey Ray – among those tweaks – any ideea if they’ll let you edit individual splits and update the grand total time accordingly? for example i know that at km5 there’s an aid station and i might go 24sec slower – those 24sec should be distributed evenly among the next kilometers…

    also – any news about glances & co? ;)

    keep up the good work ;-),

    • Tim Grose

      As it stands no but Ray’s comment “For example, the way Garmin Connect plops files on the watches was designed to be open to allow 3rd parties to create files as well” got me thinking that your use case could well be what “3rd parties” could help with.

  7. Ivo

    Good review. thx.

  8. That’s awesome, but I think I will still need to buy the Garmin 6 :D

  9. fiatlux

    Note that you can play around with the feature in Garmin Connect even if you don’t have a compatible device.

    I did and a few things struck me:
    – it is quite hard to figure out how to properly set the two sliders for one’s style. It’d be great if GC gave the opportunity to analyse past race records and determine corresponding metrics. It would probably also help if the scales were marked with values.
    – the system seems to assume that you will always speed up when going downhill – that’s not always true, especially with steep descends.
    – the most conservative setting for “uphill effort” may not be enough if you’re up for a trail-like race, but in all fairness, a simple model just based on incline probably won’t do for such races where trail conditions (mud, stones, tree roots) are just as important.

    Still, quite an interesting development, even if mostly restricted to not-quite-flat road running races/trainings.

    • Tim Grose

      I think it is largely designed for road courses or at least ones when the main limiting factor for speed is gradient. “Style” is an interesting point as I kind of figured the “point” of this is to guide you to an optimum strategy which may not be what you have done before. If that is already optimum then this isn’t going to help.

    • ekutter

      I think Tim has it right. I did a trail run yesterday with 800′ descent in 0.6 miles. I averaged 11:00 min/mi. I was doing 12:30’s on the slightly longer climb route. No way it’s going to be able to adjust for situations like that. It would be futile for them to try.

  10. Dave

    It seems that it is a giant omission (by design) that this feature is not on the current running flagship watch of the Garmin 645/645M. I understand that companies have to innovate to survive, to provide features and platforms to want to upgrade to. Also that when you buy a product that there is no guarantee of support, in this case for a new feature. But this feature in particular seems like it would benefit competitive and non-competitive runners and so it does sting when it’s not implemented for the running flagship but is for the mid range device (245).

    I guess the alternative is as Ray has talked about before: link to dcrainmaker.com using a connectIQ app to fill the gap that garmin won’t. Food for thought.

    • Dave

      I know that I may be in a minority but it would be interesting to see Ray compare PacePro to RaceScreen or any other app/watch that has this kind of pacing feature. After all, part of the reason people have these watches are to become better athletes and/or get better results.

    • fiatlux

      Ray did cover his favorite Connect IQ apps which includes RaceScreen in the past.

      I use this app (a data field in fact) on every marathon and semi I raced since I installed it. The unique feature is the ability to reset the km/mile counter each time you pass the corresponding marks on the race, to limit as much as possible the effect of GPS inaccuracies. But it only allows you to set a target time for the overall race, it does not try to take into account elevation changes.

      Two very different feature sets, although it could be nice if the distance adjustment feature could be combined with PacePro’s.

  11. Brendan Mckee

    I’m still waiting for the three line widgets update!

  12. Maria

    No PacePro for my Fénix 5 Plus, bummer. Oh well I won’t miss something I’d never seen, done or met HeHe. I just want them to fix all those synchronization issues between mobile app and my watch, it used to be flawless, that I miss.

  13. Marklemcd

    So this doesn’t fix the issue a ton of people are having where our watches won’t sync at all over iOS?

    What a joke.

    • Guillermo Guerini

      I updated my watch this morning and both times I opened, the sync started automatically. I’d call it progress. even though I haven’t done an activity yet. Maybe this issue was fixed?! Let’s see. I will go swimming later today. I hope they did fix the sync issue because it’s a pain in the butt..

    • ArtY

      Same here, everything on my Vivoactive 4 like hr, steps, etc were synced except activities. Have to do it via wifi only….

    • Magne Olsen

      Agreed! Last time I used half an hour to get my run synced… ?

      And automatically turn on the light when raising the hand is just as much of a joke. Seems to work best after going to bed!


    How does stryd pace work on this? Will it ignore the GPS lock on course style and go with live pace from the footpod?

    • Tim Grose

      Shouldn’t matter what you are using to show current pace as the pacing strategy is based on maintaining the computed pace for the distance of the current split. How well you are doing against this is based on where you are.

  15. JB

    So I have a Fenix 6 Pro, quite happy with it… but any idea if pacepro will ever be available for cycling? I’m not a runnner…

    • Tim Grose

      I think “pro” pacing on a bike is called a power meter. I can’t see it could ever be that useful for cycling given the speed you can cover a certain leg is far more dependent on the wind/weather than it is when running.

  16. Miha

    Why is target time limited to 8h15min57sec?
    If it helps, this limit is on a course with 57km and 2830m of vertical gain.

  17. Peter

    Questions on pacepro I’ve not found the answer on elsewhere.

    Can pacepro use the elevation data in the course file if you do not have elevation data in the maps you have installed? If there is elevation data in file and you have elevation data in maps, which one does it use if you do the pacepro strategy on watch?

    Can you use a course on watch created anywhere else than Garmin connect and create a pacepro strategy on watch?

    • Pedro

      Yes, it can use the elevation data on the course file.

    • Tim Grose

      It will use whatever elevation data is in the course file. So you could create your own and use whatever elevation data you like. If you have run the course before with a watch with a barometer that is likely to be better than the data from the elevation model in Garmin Connect so you could create the course from a previous run. You can either create a PacePro strategy in Garmin Connect (with more options) or on the watch but the watch one only seems to offer strategy by elevation changes although I find that the most useful anyway as that largely represents the actual pace you should go as the leg will likely be all up, down or flat.

    • Peter Höglund


  18. Joel

    Any reason for this not to be on the 935 other than getting people to buy the new thing? I don’t see anything on this that requires extra hardware to do. (but i might be wrong)

    • Steve

      I wondered the exact same thing

    • Eric Kutter

      The amount of development effort to add features to older devices! It’s not like you can just take a chunk of code from one product, pluck it into another, and ship it out the door. I’m sure a feature like this has it’s tentacles in numerous areas of the product. The risk of destabilizing the 935 is certainly high without significant development and testing resources.

    • inSyt

      Most of the hard work including gradient factoring is done on Garmin Connect which then sends a ‘workout’ like activity to the watch. The watch then calculates how far ahead or behind you are.

  19. Frank

    Who the hell needs such an useless stuff.
    Producers should better concentrate on making devices highly accurate in terms of GPS and oHR than wasting recources for gimmicks

    • There are plenty of features one could make that case for on a watch, Garmin or otherwise.

      But honestly, I don’t think anyone would seriously make that case for this feature. This is exactly what people focused on racing want.

    • Tim Grose

      Er pretty much everybody who wants to race (or train) to an optimum strategy!

    • Bob

      Frank picked the wrong feature, but his point is spot on for a lot of features. A lot of us weekend warriors really want an accurate and stable product more than a lot of features. My Vivoactive 3 has struggled with many of the software updates it has received over the past year.

      Now I’m worried the Vivoactive 4 review is delayed because its starting life with buggy software and that stability might only get worse over time.

  20. Frank

    But all these features rest upon the assumption, that the device is accurate. But when that is simply not the case, what is it ever worth?

    • But again, this feature (read above how it works), is actually resilient against all but the craziest of GPS accuracy errors. It’s not cumulative. It’s simply looking at the closest point you’re on to the planned track. It’s super cool in that respect. Errors don’t compound, nor does it care about your actual mileage.

      Again, there are features we can make this case for. But I think it’s actually important to provide the right feedback to companies. When they see comments like that which show people aren’t bothering to understand the feature, they’ll discard that opinion instantly.

      Versus picking a feature or issue that’s for a basis to truth to it, stings and drives home the point more.

    • Andrew

      I think Frank is pointing out that at the time you don’t know if the GPS is accurate or wonky. You only find this out looking at the map after the activity. So the watch may incorrectly tell you that you’re behind or ahead of schedule resulting in you making the wrong pace decision?

    • Tim Grose

      There is a fair bit of tolerance when you follow a course else you would be forever “off course”. So if say you are on the wrong side of a wide road it is highly unlikely to fail but even so would soon self correct anyway. “Accuracy” means different things to different people but nearly always my Garmins are accurate enough for my needs.

  21. Is it possible to add any kind of notification when the pace changes? I tested the feature in beta and I don’t remember having one. If the watch doesn’t notifiy me of the pace change is it supposed to run constantly looking at it?

    • Rui Pereira

      I think you get the same beep/notification that happens when you have a standard pace alert in a normal run, but I have to double check.

    • ekutter

      You do get a full banner telling you what the new pace is and how far ahead/behind you are at that point. It’s really hard to miss with the tone and vibration.

      Plus you can have the PacePro screen up showing your current pace and how you are doing for the current segment relative to that pace.

    • Ok I see, there is the tone vibration of the lap (mile or Km) and then you’ll check the new split expected pace because it’s always a lap thing, I guess.

  22. morey

    A bit of a PacePro review. Firstly – great idea, and I’m going to use this for my next few races rather than RaceScreen, where you manually hit the lap button to re-correct the distance.
    1. for me- I find that if I leave the hill slider in the middle, it makes me work too hard going uphills, and I end up running way too fast downhill. So, sliding it half-way towards “easier on the hills” seems to work better for me.
    2. the pace it gives you on the PacePro screen is your average pace for that lap (Km, Mile, or grade stretch). If you use a lap of a mile, and that section has ups and downs within it… it makes it really difficult to use PacePro. As you are climbing, it will indicate that you are far behind your pace, and then as you descend you make it up- so, really hard to guide pacing in this regard, but it eventually catches up to you.
    3. if you leave the course- it doesn’t give you any credit for that time. so, if you take a 3min detour… when you get back on course you will be 3min behind. I guess that’s how it should be- but a good thing to know.

    • Tim Grose

      On (1) agree that I don’t think they have got the right “default” uphill effort yet as the times have tried (admittedly only at sub race effort levels) then it seemed too hard uphill but I was able to catch up quickly downhill. (2) again yeah I only find the splits by elevation useful as that is the only type where the pace for the split is basically what you need to do. Maybe by mile/km is better on fairly flat courses where the variations are small. (3) yeah it’s a limitation but equally I think this is really meant for courses you are actually going to run in full like say in a race.

  23. Walter S

    How does this cope with a looped course, in terms of working out which lap you are on?

  24. Franxis

    Hey Ray! Great stuff. Do you think there is a chance this is coming to my Fenix 3?

  25. StAcy

    Will this be available on FR645M?

  26. Jon D

    I’ve got the Harrisburg Marathon on Sunday, hoping to get this update installed to check out PacePro! ..and of course the much-needed bugfixes. Appreciate the update post and refresher on PacePro Ray!

    • Caferey

      What do you think of the estimated marathon time on your Garmin? Realistic?
      Don’t set your pace pro time too aggressively! Don’t want to see with 15K to go your way, way behind. Definitely a useful tool for any road race, probably less so on flat, fast courses with v little elevation change, but great for challenging races like Boston, NYCM and undulating Madrid(first 5K and last 7K upslope)
      Best of luck on Sunday!

    • Jon D

      Thanks! I think it’s pretty realistic. It doesn’t accommodate for stopping at water stops, so, I just figure on buffering that out and adding that in or being slightly faster. I saw a suggestion to back off the hill effort a little as a default, and that seems to make my pace per mile reasonable.

  27. Richard M

    Wow, this update doesn’t fix the syncing issue. Hopefully it doesn’t crash upon save in an endless loop still…Garmin, focus on basic functionality of the watch before working on new features.

  28. Logan

    Not gonna cry too much about lack of Pacepro on my fenix 5+, but it would sure be nice to have those extra couple of datafields. Sigh.

  29. Will PacePro trickle down to the Fenix 5 since its more of a firmware/software feature than a hardware feature. I can’t see why the we can’t get this on a future update for the Fenix 5? Any thoughts? I also if this doesn’t come to Fenix ice used PacePro on Garmin connect to work out my race strategy and make notes, but it would help if the watch could mange it for us.

  30. Luke Hardman

    Hey Ray,

    Since Garmin probably won’t send this the Fenix 5+ way it doesn’t really affect me but I have a question:

    How will GPS problems (Chicago Marathon I’m looking at you) affect this? Will the watch figure out that you have only run 8km and adjust the pace to what you actually have left to run (in Chicago I was already reading 10km on the watch at the 8km mark). Now that I’m thinking about it it will probably have each pace “zone” set up like a strava segment so it wouldn’t really matter what has come before or is coming after? And actually, when it detects you hitting a spot on the course that it knows is at 8km will it correct the distance already run to reflect where that point is on the course?

    Wow, that was a poorly worded paragraph, apologies.


  31. Peter Höglund

    See Rays answer above:

    DC Rainmaker
    November 7, 2019
    But again, this feature (read above how it works), is actually resilient against all but the craziest of GPS accuracy errors. It’s not cumulative. It’s simply looking at the closest point you’re on to the planned track. It’s super cool in that respect. Errors don’t compound, nor does it care about your actual mileage.

  32. Mirko Surf&Run

    I have a race next Sunday and I created a Pace Pro strategy with the course that I created from the gpx file of my watch of the race of the last year. Last year I wore a watch without barometric altimeter and in a part of the race where I run under a tunnel it shows a false elevation gain of 100 meters (because the map of GarminConnect doesn’t know that there is a tunnel and shows the elevation of the mountain over the tunnel). I don’t know how to correct that elevation and tell to the watch that the road under the tunnel is perfectly flat and it has no elevation gain.
    I downloaded some tcx files from Strava of people who run the same race last year, hoping that some people had the barometric altimeter. In Strava the elevation is correct, but as soon as I import the course in GarminConnect, I have the wrong elevation when I pass over the tunnel.
    How can I change the elevation of the course in GarminConnect? Ideas? Maybe “BaseCamp”? I downloaded BaseCamp but I didn’t use it yet.
    Anyway, I didn’t use Pace Pro very much yet but I like it, and this was a nice article. Worth to note that with the recent upgrade of the firmware of the FR945, there is a graphical field for Pace Pro, so it’s possible to look at Pace Pro and in the same time look at instant pace or lap pace.
    So I’m planning to use it during the race in a page with three field:
    1- instant pace or power from footpod with CIQ field “Footpod pace”
    2- graphical field of Pace Pro (with step/lap pace and goal pace )
    3- instant pace of FR945
    I just hope to find a solution to correct my course in time for my next race.

    • MirkoSurf&Run

      I used the program TCX Converter and I checked the tcx file of my run of last year. With “elevation correction” disabled, the data are correct and near the tunnel I can’t see in the tcx file the elevation errors that appear in the course when I import the file in Garmin Connect. This must be a bug in “Garmin Connect” and “Pace Pro”, because when creating a course importing the data from a tcx file, they automatically correct the elevation data with their data and not keep the height data of the tcx file. It seems that I have to do my race with this errors, and this means that Pace Pro is taking in account a uphill of about 100 meters in vertical ascent (about only 200 meters long) and a downhill of vertical descent of 100 meters (about only 200 meters long). But it seems that except in that segment of the race, the other segments are not impacted by this error, so I will use it in my next race ignoring the split with the wrong uphill and downhill.

  33. Vojta

    Ray, would this be a 3.0 version for FR945?

  34. Phil S

    I love this feature on my Fenix 6. Used it in Windsor Half Marathon and cruised to a PB.
    I found the Pace Pro screen irritating in training runs as it doesn’t have HR, Current pace and average pace. Then I discovered that all the PacePro data fields can be added to you own custom screen.
    Now a use a screen with:
    Heart Rate
    Average Pace
    Split Distance Remaining
    Overall Ahead/Behind
    PacePro Guage (which includes target pace and split pace)

    • Brian

      I also created a custom data screen. Was glad to see they allowed those fields. I wanted to see instantaneous pace which wasn’t shown by default. Also added heart rate.

  35. John Reinke

    Perhaps I’m biased because I own a Fenix 5 Plus, but I really think the 5 Plus should receive this update as well since it’s not THAT old. The FR945 gets this, and I thought it basically is a cheaper version of the Fenix 5 Plus.

  36. Audun

    So, what’s the current status of new Fenix 6 features on the 945 (by new I mean the ones the 945 didn’t have when the F6 was launched)? Which ones are already there and which ones are confirmed on the way, and which ones are probably coming?

  37. Daniel Lott

    I feel like a moron asking this but…..I have not been able to download the new version 3.7. Could someone please tell me what obvious fact I am missing. I currently have 3.1 installed on my 245 and have attempted updates for the last 3 days?

  38. Brett Cole

    any insights on the rumored new Wahoo gps watch anticipate to be coming out?

  39. Timothy Fortuna

    It’s 11/14 and my 945 still hasn’t gotten the update. Any way to push it or anything? Are there others that haven’t?

  40. Beren Vonnahme

    Do you know if we’ll see an increase in the number of ConnectIQ data fields available on the FR945? It seems a little silly that although you can now have 6 data fields in a screen, only 2 in the entire activity can be custom ones! For some reason, when I upgraded from the 935 I thought I would be able to have more than two ConnectIQ data fields…

  41. Hi Ray, I saw the newsletter and I wonder what iPhone case are you using? :) Thanks!

  42. I tested the PacePro feature twice. It’s really nice. I have one suggestion to Garmin, maybe you have a solution.

    If you choose ‘elevation changes’ instead of miles or Km’s, to set your split paces, there is no way to analyse your race afterwards to see how things went regarding your projected split times. Because connect does the usual Km or Mile split

    Or am I missing something?

    Elevation changes is rather good for races with significant, well, elevation changes :) But there should be a way to auto lap those split changes…. IMHO

  43. Heiko

    what happens if i am constantly faster or slower than my planned pace? can i make adjustments on the fly, during a run?

  44. Jon Niehof

    The comparison chart still doesn’t show PacePro (or swim optical HR) for the 945. I know it’s a pain to keep those all updated…

  45. Jaume

    I can’t understand how its possible that a FR245 has the pacepro and a FR645 which is better, doesn’t have it.

    strange movement from garmin…

  46. richard

    at a time when we are trying to consume less it would be fabulous to be able to buy a software upgrade to an existing device rather than having to buy yet another new device. We used to be able to buy maps locked to specific devices so I suspect that Garmin know how to do it. In their case they could still have a single version of firmware but just with paid for internal ‘flags’ that allow you to use the newer features

  47. Ben McDonald

    I am hoping an update will allow the user the ability to create “sections” or segments in their race (specifically marathon). For example: I’d like to run the first 3 miles of a marathon at pace A. I’d like to run miles 4-13 at pace B. I’d like to run miles 14-23 at pace C, and then struggle home the last 5k at pace D.
    I’m no marathon master by any means but I imagine it’s hard to negative split 26 times.

  48. Chris Clancy

    I still wish there was a way to manually change splits so this was usable :-(

    We’re getting ready to run Phoenix this Saturday and with the first 13 mile seriously downhill and the next 12 flat with a 1 mile downhill finish, there’s no great way to get pace pro to do what any of us need it to do — so we’re all carrying pace bands…. ha ha ha

  49. Gigi

    Bought a brand new Garmin Fenix 5 plus Sapphire 2 months ago. Garmin is still selling these new . But it seems Garmin has no love for this device (must be demographic that usually wants newest) and it will bite them back.

  50. CJ

    A datapoint for anyone coming across this post years later:

    Never a runner, I just finished Garmin’s 5k virtual coach plan.

    On race day, I used PacePro and set several personal-bests, including cutting over 2 minutes from my 5k.

    YES, I could have written out a plan and set timers but it was super convenient to have automatic reminders on my wrist, along with a “time ahead/behind”.

    TL;DR: PacePro is stellar and a huge value-add, even to a complete novice like me.

  51. Laura

    I have the Garmin fenix 6s pro. Does the wrist heart rate connect to zwift or peloton with this new update???

  52. Andy Velazco

    I enjoy the reviews

  53. Marco Vieira

    Hi is there any chance that one can use this feature when on multisport profile, for the run part!

  54. Susan Spencer

    I have used PacePro on my Forerunner 245 in two races, a half-marathon and a marathon. Both used imported GPX courses from Strava. Afterward, I noticed in Garmin Connect that when I looked at the “Compare Pace Strategy” view, some of the lap distances were not the standard 1.0 mile that they are in regular lap view. Some laps were 0.96, while one was 1.27. Paces listed in those different views, for the same mile (lap), differed accordingly. My question is: During the race, is the current pace based on the GPS of the imported course (presumably what is reflected in the Compare Pace Strategy view)? Or is it the actual current 1-mile lap pace?

  55. Adam Lewis

    Thanks Ray.

    Is it just me though that finds the blue bar indicator rather illogical? Maybe I am missing it’s value but it fills from right to left as you complete the distance on that segment. Isn’t that the opposite direction of what is logical! Surely left to right as you move through the segment?!

  56. Brian

    What do you think is more helpful for a race like the New York City Marathon, Garmin’s PacePro or something like race snapping on the Wahoo Rival?

    Getting a fail-proof map of the NYCM course loaded on the watch for PacePro seems too tedious, if not impossible, which would defeat the purpose of relying on PacePro. Race snapping when the watch’s distance is off from the mile markers, like with Rival, would seem more useful then, but Rival would not present a goal pace for each mile (or other segment) of the course, like PacePro would. Having to memorize goal paces, crudely assumed based on elevation maps, would also be tedious but not impossible.

    BUT if the GPS on the watch can be super accurate, even in urban environments, then maybe this would all be moot, since the watch should be pretty damned reliable and aligned with course mile markers (think of Garmin’s dual-band GPS in, say, the FR255).