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Garmin Forerunner 955 Complete Beginners Guide & Features Overview

Just a super quick weekend note for those that don’t subscribe on YouTube, that I’ve posted my massive 50-minute-long user guide for the Forerunner 955 series. This guide covers virtually every feature of the Forerunner 955 from start to finish, taking you through not just the newness to the FR955, but also core features of the watch itself. So if you’re jumping into a Garmin watch for the first time, or perhaps upgrading from a 3-4-year-old model, this will cover all the things that have also been added in the last few years.

Of course, I dive deep into the new Forerunner 955-specific features too. Areas like the new Training Readiness, HRV Status, dynamic training plans based on races, revamped Daily Suggested Workouts, and more. In fact, mid-way through the video, I go out and do a hard interval workout to demonstrate those features in real-time and how they change throughout the day due to these impacts.

There’s plenty of goodness and tips/tidbits in this video that I just didn’t fit into my full written review – especially around navigation, music, and contactless payments (though, those sections will be added shortly to the written review too). And best of all, you can skip right to the video section you’re looking for using the YouTube chapters in the video itself, or the quick-links below:

0:00 The Game Plan
0:40 Watch Face, Widgets, Daily Activity Tracking
4:22 Sleep Tracking, Body Battery, HR Sensor
8:36 HRV Status Deep-Dive
11:48 Training Readiness Deep-Dive (and Load/recovery)
17:21 Solar Version Details
20:20 Race Calendar and Dynamic Training Plans
24:05 Sport Modes, Configuration, and Usage
29:48 Native Running Power
32:05 Multiband GPS
34:23 Stamina Deep-Dive
39:26 Sensors & Pairing
41:36 Maps Downloads, Navigation, Routing
47:22 Music Support (Spotify)
49:54 Garmin Pay/Contactless Payments

I’ve got a similar guide coming up this week for the Forerunner 255 as well, though as you might imagine, much of the features are the same (at its core, minus Training Readiness, solar, and mapping-related functions).

With that – thanks for watching!

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51 Comments

  1. Stephen Sands

    Just bought 955. Wonder if will track treadmill runs as have running pod but 935 was always off and asked to recalibrate at end of run but it was based on that specific workout speed. Also, I use workout plans on paper and wondered if I can upload LHR plan to watch rather than rely on the Garmin derived plan.

  2. JP

    Hi and thanks. When will this watch be added to the Product Comparison Calculator?

    • Probably this afternoon. 🙂

      I want to add a few new data fields to account for some of the newer features.

    • Jeremy B

      Millions await!

    • Manuel

      Everybody wants this 😀
      For me the main reason is to understand if is worth the extra money compared to 945…
      945 with big discount can be a great choice (for me at least)

    • Jeremy B

      And den?

    • No more and den!

      Done!

      (I’m still not entirely sure where to stop in terms of adding some of the features here. I’ve long tried to keep the product calculator as company-neutral in terms of adding features, and tried to keep them more generic. Meaning, I don’t have Stamina in the product calculator, since that’s only on the Fenix 7, Epix, and Forerunner 955, yet not on the FR255/Instinct 2. So in that sense, the product calculator is less useful at showing those differences. Yet oddly, those are the differences that probably matter the most.)

      Always open to feedback there.

  3. Peter^

    Where to buy this in EU to receive it quickly, preferably with a affiliate link for ray, and maybe even a discount? Checked wiggle, but they don’t have it in stock. Garmin website says ships in 3-5 weeks…

    • I don’t have any EU affiliate ones that have it in stock, nor have I seen many others in the regions I looked at (namely, Netherlands for myself).

    • Eugene

      My advice, if you really want it soon: find out which brick shops sell Garmin in your country or neighborhod (e.g., Google it). There you can ask if they have it in stock. Should be avalilabe somewhere I’d say…
      In Belgium, Garmin is sold in AS Adventure, Vandenborre, Mediamarkt, and other shops. Don’t know yet which has the 955.

  4. Luca

    Hi Ray, for those folks who use the running power IQ app, do you think Garmin will ever explain or add some sort of support on how users should estimate their own Threshold Power in order to have some ballpark numbers to use for running power zones?

  5. Simon Hadley

    Niche question – I find it hard to sleep with the watch on so wear a VivoSmart4 as my primary device and use my Fenix 5 for workouts. As you know they wont share data which is why I make the Vivo priority device so I get Body Battery etc.

    With the 955, if I keep the same system, that is the Vivo as primary, worm. 24hours a day and just wear the. 955 for activities will the features like HRV, Body Battery, Training Readiness work properly? or will there be gaps.

    Appreciate. any feesback

    • Roman

      Unfortunately, HRV data are not part of Physio TrueUp and thus are not synced between devices. So even if vivosmart 4 supported HRV status (it doesn’t) it wouldn’t be synced to 955. If you want to have HRV status and Training Readiness score, then currently the only option is to sleep with the watch.

    • Correct, no Physio TrueUp support yet for HRV Status. It sounds like that’s in the hopper (there’s some piping already in the world), but wasn’t super critical to get in place for launch given no other devices have it (and most people aren’t going to be switching between a 955 and Fenix 7 at the moment).

    • Pinooo

      What if I wear a FR955 all day, except during activities. Any idea if the training readiness will be accurate? (I will record my ride with a Garmin 530 ans H10)

    • giper54

      I wear my Forunner 945 on one wrist and my Apple Watch series 7 on my other wrist. I have two wrist so why not. You can always wear both devices.

    • Ken

      Grumble… okay, if I’m willing to sleep with my 955, do I have to wear it all day too for training readiness? Or can I measure daily stress with something like a Vivosmart to fill in the stress component?

  6. Greg Goate

    How does the HR compare to earlier versions and say Coros Pace 2?

    I ask because no garmin has ever given me accurate workout wrist HR. However the pace 2 has so I’m looking for a similar sensor.

    And the gps chipset is the same company that is supplying the pace 2 as well? The sony chipset in the 945 was the worst I’ve ever seen. Too many issues.

  7. gingerneil

    Do any of the metrics rely on HRV, and therefore the inbuilt HR sensor, during a workout? If I wear a third party oHR (wahoo tickr FIT) that doesn’t support proper HRV, will it impact any of the stats? I *think* the tickr adds in HRV data to what it sends, but its not correct?
    Also, I work in an office where I cant wear a smart watch, so its locked away 9-5 (apart from a lunchtime run). I wear it all other times and overnight. Can I expect ‘accurate’ recovery, readiness etc metrics or do these rely on true 24/7 wear? Although of interest, I dont expect my life and training to revolve around these stats, but having an idea of their accuracy against my wear patterns would be useful either way.

  8. Lee

    Copying from the 955 review post…
    About 23 minutes in you discuss the suggested workouts for races that you loaded in Connect. Would the essentially act as a adaptive training plan like Garmin Coach? I love using Garmin Coach but for some strange reason there is no marathon plan and wondering if this would kinda take the place of it?

  9. Joris

    Hi, I currently own a Fenix 6 Sapphire. Is there any possibility there will be a software update coming in the near future to these devices including HRV status, training readiness, morning report and real-time stamina?

    From a hardware perspective I don’t see any reasons why not?

    • DanielB

      Hoping to get an answer to this too.

      Keep up the good work Ray!

    • Daniel

      I also want to know this, I’m trying to decide if I should buy the fenix 6 sapphire or FR 955.. Fenix is more stylish and premium design but the FR955 has newer sensors and better firmware..

  10. Mike

    Hi Ray,

    Can you quickly rattle off what features this 955 has that the Fenix 7 won’t? I’m debating whether to return my Fenix 7 and get the 955 on account of the lighter weight for more comfort and accuracy, plus the lower price. Also dual-band gps on a $200 cheaper device than the standard 7?? With Garmin? It feels like you pay $200 more for a probably $20 piece of stainless steel on the Standard Fenix 7.

  11. Justin Clay

    Does anyone know if the Dynamic Training Plans work with ultra-distance races? For example if you put a 50 mile race on the calendar, will it still try and build a Dynamic Training Plan for that?

  12. Mike

    Hi all,

    I really like the HRV status and the training readiness, is there any chance there will be an update for the FENIX 6? i really like the watch but i would like to have the new features and i think it would be easy to get an update right?

    Thanks for the info!

    Mike

  13. Sven Gustavsen

    Hello DC Rainmaker.
    I have folloved you for some years now.
    I am wondering if you have a date for adding forerunner 955 to your
    product-comparison-calculator ?

  14. zipuni

    Quick question. Is there a way to have HR be measured using the high-power / high-accuracy mode normally reserved for workouts but in 24/7 wearing? In the past I have been running on a no-GPS activity all day, to “force” the HR to operate in high-accuracy mode. As you can imagine, I don’t care that it will be consuming more battery, I would just like the most accurate all-day HR results. Thanks!

    • DanielB

      Hey Zipuni, I’ve also done this in the past… one significant thing I noticed is that my daily active calories and total calories went through the roof.

      Did you notice anything similar?

  15. Stephane Tremblay

    As always your reviews are so well done. Thanks, I would be really curious to compare the accuracy of Stryd vs Garmin running power … Any references ? Thanks

  16. Niklaus

    Dear Ray
    You say somewhere that the new functions of the 955 will also be available later on the Fenix 7. Does this also apply to the Epix 2? Is there any information you can share on this? Many thanks for your great work!

  17. Freedom Paulette

    Can the FR955 (or the Edge 1040, or the Fenix 7) be used in replacement of GPS tracking devices as a personal tracking device in the races that require one (The Transcontinental bike race in particular).

    • Michael Raz

      Race instructions are very clear – either your own SPOT device or one is included in the fee. SPOT (and Garmin inreach) include remote messaging capability (satellite based) so no comparison to FR955 etc as these only provide YOU your location and linking them with a cell phone in anyway would not meet the requirements of tracking and messaging out of cell coverage.

  18. Brian McIntyre

    In regards to navigation, other than the size of the display, would the 955 do everything a unit like the Edge 830 would do?

  19. Chris

    It occurs to me that nobody has asked whether the new features will be ported over to the Enduro. Do you know Ray? And do you think we will see a new version of the Enduro, or do you think it is going to be a one off which will be phased out? You would have thought they would add the new GPS chip and reverse the nutty decision on maps and call it the Enduro 2…..

  20. Antonie

    I own a Stryd and just got received the 955. Garmin power is about 100w higher. Is there a way to disable Garmin running power. Now some apps pick up the Garmin power and some the Stryd.

  21. Matthew Martin

    Do you know if it will fit the 935/945 quick release kit?

  22. MikeD

    Any news on new firmware? FR955 is so buggy i cant even use maps which i use on old epix and FR945.
    When the forced beta will be closed? :/

  23. Michael R Withers

    Does anyone know how often the pace field updates on the 955. I have a 935 and have to download an exact pace app because its every 5 seconds

  24. Melissa Michaels

    Would you say this forerunner has all the same features of the swim 2? I went swimming with my forerunner 945 and it seems that the tracking is going downhill fast (my cynicism says it’s planned obsolescence). Thanks!!

  25. Pattie Wallner

    Hello there,

    Thanks for the great deep reviews you do. I upgraded from the Garmin 920xt (which is still going strong) to the 955 and am enjoying the huge upgrade.

    Can you tell me under what heading the “distance per stroke” is on the watch for swimming? I look under stroke fields on the app, but it is blank on the app.

    Thank you so much!

    Cheers,
    Pattie

  26. Alex Mlawsky

    (FYI, I posted this on your YouTube channel also….)

    Great recap and explanations…thanks! Question for you and others here. With all the technology and features in the 955 it same like I should start using the 955 to collect all the data when I ride. Currently I use my 1030 to capture all the ride data and then that is uploaded (in my case) to Training Peaks, Strava, and Garmin Connect. To get the full benefits/features & insight that Garmin has developed would you recommend using the watch to collect the data and upload to the platforms and use the “head unit” as just a display then purge/trash after a successful watch upload?

    This has me thinking maybe someone (if they have not already) should make a “monitor” head unit that connects to the watch that could be configured to display any of the watch data fields or generated information. Or give the users the ability to run their Edge units in full monitor mode.

    With all that said maybe I should play around with “Extended Display Mode” on my Edge units….. I just don’t believe it would be a full monitor mode.

    fyi using the term Monitor mode like the AV world does. 😉 lol

  27. Stephen Sands

    Will the 955 download apple podcasts as the option is described as part of the Spotify commands but doesn’t seem to work. There is also a podcast 3rd party app but haven’t tried it and wonder if that’s the work around.