Garmin Starts Beta Rollout of Forerunner 955/Edge 1040 Features to Fenix 7/Epix

Today’s update begins the first wave of firmware updates stemming from the Forerunner 955 & Forerunner 255 models, which include new features like Training Readiness, Running Power, HRV Status, as well as a slate of Race Calendar/Event-related features, and even some features from the Edge 1040.  And atop that, some totally new features not seen at all on Garmin devices. Now, I suppose technically speaking it’s the Public Alpha Test Rollout, but that’s more of a nuanced recent nomenclature change for Garmin. Practically speaking, these are beta builds, now available for the public as part of their recent public beta program.

In any case, Garmin had previously committed to bringing the following features to their Fenix 7 Series, Epix Series, and Forerunner 945 LTE watches:

A) HRV Status**
B) Daily Training Readiness
C) Acute Training Load**
D) Morning Report
E) Native Running Power**
F) Race Calendar & Race Event Widgets
G) Daily Suggested Workouts now accounting for races on the calendar

In addition, the ones above marked ** are also coming to the Instinct 2 series watches, as they align with those features found on the similarly priced Garmin Forerunner 255.

Update July 6th: Instinct 2 Alpha has been released here, this first one adding the running power component.

Now, while Garmin committed to those 7 features above, in reality, this first firmware update includes faaaaaaar more features than that. That’s because many of the features outlined above are tied to numerous other features. For example, Race Calendar/Race Event widgets in turn drives things like revamped Daily Suggested Workouts (including dynamic build/taper/peak phases). And then that in turn also impacts areas like the updated Race Predictor features. Meanwhile, features like Native Running power means it also now supports running power structured workouts, and running power alerts, and so on.

Point being, if you look at the slate of changes for today’s firmware update, it’s considerably larger than just those features above. Do note that there are some substantial bugs with this alpha firmware, which are outlined on Garmin’s site. Here’s the full list of both new features/updates:

– Added SatIQ support
– Added eBike support
– Added Race Day features (FR955 Feature)
– Added Stocks widget glance
– Added a Reference Point app
– Added widget glance folders
– Added Cycling Ability feature (Edge 1040 Feature)
– Added Golf Virtual Caddie support
– Added categorization to Activity setup
– Added Training Readiness widget glance (FR955 Feature, includes HRV Status)
– Added a power key control menu item for RCT (For new Varia RCT715)
– Added Golf wind speed and direction support
– Added ability to disable temperature recording for an activity
– Added support for Run Power when paired with a compatible accessory (FR955 Feature)
– Added multicolor support to Climb Pro graphs for non-biking activities
– Added a “What’s New” screen to call out new features in software updates
– Added a watch face chart data fields for battery level and floors climbed
+++ Another 27 lines of bug fixes and feature improvements/tweaks

One feature missing is the Morning Report, hopefully that’s still on the list, since that’s one of my favorite features of the new Forerunner 955. Additionally, Acute Load doesn’t seem to be here yet. It’s named ‘Load Trend’ here, but is missing the green ‘tunnel’ that shows if you’re in range. On the flip side, there’s the SatIQ support, which dynamically switches between satellite types (multiband vs all-systems) based on satellite reception, as well as the new widget glance folders, which allow you to stick widget glances in folders. In fact, in general, the following bigger ticket features are entirely new here:

– Added SatIQ support
– Added categorization to Activity setup
– Added a “What’s New” screen to call out new features in software updates
– Added widget glance folders

I cover all those features within the video up above, so definitely check that out!

Now, as a reminder, this launches today in what Garmin calls their public Alpha program. Which means that you’ll need to side-load the pre-release firmware onto your watch using a computer. Whereas if you join the public Beta program, then it’ll automatically arrive wirelessly on your watch once it reaches public beta stage (probably a few weeks away, if things go smoothly).

I’ve detailed how to join the public Alpha & Beta programs here. Or, you can skip right to Garmin’s site and do it yourself here.

Quick New Feature Tips:


Now, a couple of super quick things to keep in mind about some of these newer features:

A) HRV Status Is a 19-day onboarding process. Meaning, you’ll get your HRV stats each morning when you wake up, but you won’t get the textual status/color-coding until 19 sleep-filled nights later, since it has to build that baseline. HRV Status does not currently Physio True-Up from other Garmin devices, so even if you have a FR955/FR255 with that data, it’s currently on a per-device basis (it sends all the data to Garmin Connect, but isn’t yet set up to send it back to your watch).

B) Understand the HRV Nightly Average Timeframe: Remember that in Garmin’s case, the nightly HRV values are the entire night’s average. Whereas if you’ve come from a longer history of taking HRV values, those will likely have been taken first thing in the morning. Simply put, these two won’t match. As you can see easily, your HRV values tend to recover over the course of the night (that’s sorta the point). As such, by averaging the lows and highs over a 6-8hr period, you’ll have a lower value than doing the morning wake-up thing. Frankly, it doesn’t really matter which approach you use, since the point is relative long-term trending. Generally speaking, it’s harder to have consistency in taking morning readings at the exact same circumstances daily for weeks/months on end, than it is to do nothing. But to each their own.

C) Daily Training Readiness: Much of this can take up to a week before they start enumerating in. Remember the two biggest components of Daily Readiness are last night’s sleep, and current recovery hours from your workouts. All the other factors matter, but those two *really* matter. Check out my video below where I dive into those nuances.

D) Native Running Power: This requires the Garmin HRM-TRI, HRM-PRO, HRM-RUN, or RD-POD. It does not work with Stryd or other 3rd party running sensors yet. So while Garmin considers it ‘native’, I’d say it’s more ‘Kinda-native’ in that it needs an external sensor. Hopefully we’ll see them join Apple/COROS/Polar in using just wrist data.

E) Race Calendar & Dynamic Training Plans: This primarily supports running today. So you’ll add your race to your Garmin Connect calendar using your phone/website (including your distance/course). However, while it vaguely supports cycling, it’s not super built-out there today. For example, you won’t get predicted finish times like you would on running. Note that while it builds out the training calendar on your watch, you won’t see it shown on your Garmin Connect calendar.

Finally, if you’re looking for a deep-dive into how all these features work, check out my Forerunner 955 Complete Guide video, specifically, the sections for Training Readiness and Training Load, which includes showing how Training Readiness works (and I even go out mid-video and do a hard interval session to show the impacts of it before/after).

Phew – got all that? Good. Go forth and enjoy!

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Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Garmin Fenix 7 Solar Sapphire, Garmin Epix Sapphire Black Titanium (Gen 2) or Garmin Forerunner 955 Base or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you shop with TPC (The Pro's Closet), you'll save $40 on purchases over $200 with coupon code DCRAIN40! The Pro's Closet has been a long-time partner of the site here - including sponsoring videos like my cargo bike race, as well as just being an awesome Colorado-based company full of good humans. Check them out with the links below and the DCRAIN40 coupon!

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Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

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  1. Chuck Hazzard

    Would one have to wait another 19 days if you used an FR955 for a month or so and then upgraded to a Fenix 7?

    • Eli

      From what is written above:
      HRV Status does not currently Physio True-Up from other Garmin devices, so even if you have a FR955/FR255 with that data, it’s currently on a per-device basis (it sends all the data to Garmin Connect, but isn’t yet set up to send it back to your watch).

  2. Mike

    Size 26 band?

  3. NBatov

    Any chances of these updates to arrive to just a little bit older 945 (non-LTE) model?!

  4. Pavel

    So does this mean that FR745 is discontinued in Garmin’s eyes already?

  5. Juri

    you said in the comments of your 1040 review that Garmin is also going to release the powerplan (bikesplit) feature to the Fenix line. Is that still your current information? :)

    would looooove to install the alpha and would usually do it in a heartbeat, but have Challenge Roth coming up on sunday, and cant risk the “Potential watch crash occurring randomly, sometimes when the watch is capturing solar.”

  6. Ryan

    Any of these updates likely coming to the MARQ series watches?!? Love the look and profile of my MARQ Expedition but so many new features on the latest set of releases.

  7. Eli

    I wonder if the avg night hrv is the whole night or if they try to remove times when awake or other segments that would create bad data. See:
    link to medium.com

    I also wonder how much the watch strap used can influence this data. HRV is very sensitive to artifacts and we all know that a good fit is needed on an optical HR watch to give a good reading. The heavier watches (7x) might give worse data (good thing they don’t still have metal bands). Replacing the watch strap with an elastic band (the watch steward or Nick Mankey) can hold the watch tight 24/7 without being too tight so might give better hrv data

    • It’s the entire night. I outline how it works within the FR255/FR955 reviews. The graph on the watch shows 5-minute averages throughout the night, but the actual data is the full readings.

    • Dave

      I’ve long been hoping that Garmin will release a range of colours in the same velcro band that comes with the Fenix Ultra at the moment. I’d never use the silicon strap that came on my 7XSS again as I find it really uncomfortable to sleep with.

    • Dave

      Doh! Enduro, not Ultra.

  8. Benedikt

    I cant find the HRV widget? Or, i cant add it because it is not in my list of widgets.

  9. Tom

    Is it true that Fenix 7 doesn’t let you use widgets during activity? Someone said that on Garmin forum but I find it hard to believe. It would be a huge bummer and a step back.

  10. Anthony

    Any chance of Fenix 6/Tactix Delta seeing this stuff?

    • Joller

      About the Race Calendar and Dynamic Training Plans – seems to me all the race calendar does is it literally just places the entry for a race in the calendar, and gives me avg temperature for the location, nothing else.
      Am I missing something?
      It doesn’t seem linked to the dynamic racing plan, and these are only for 5k, 10k and HM, and needs to be setup independently from the race calendar entry. Is this correct?

    • MikeDozer

      Any news on new stable firmware for fr955? actual 10.10 is garbage. Yesterday i was hiking and tried to use around me feature to find peak to hike and got crashes all the time.
      And many other bugs.

    • RE: Race Calendar – There’s two pieces to it on the FR955, the Primary Race Widget, and then the Race Calendar. They kinda overlap a bit. That said, the main thing though that all this does is change your Daily Suggested workouts, and creates build/peak/taper/etc within that. So, assuming you’ve created a running race and set the length, and assuming it shows up, you can access it automatically if you haven’t run that day yet. Or, failing that, go to open up the Run, then hold middle left and choose Training > Daily Suggested Workout, then you’ll see Plan Overview & Settings. There’s no specific 5K/10K/etc, it does it based on the distance dynamically.

      RE: FR955 Beta – There’s other FR955 beta firmware versions in the works, I sent over a note last night to get clarity on those. That said, I haven’t had any crashes/etc yet with respect to hiking (or honestly, anything else) in well over a month. Nonetheless, I have seen some folks that are getting all assortment of weird navigation related bugs/crashes. I’m not clear why many folks are without issues, and then some subset of folks is having every issue in the book in navigation. Obviously, there must be some specific setting that roughly translates to: Issues? Yes, all of htem.

    • Joller

      Thanks re: race calendar, awesome reaponse. Indeed, I found the plan settings where you said, doesn’t seem to be documented, or accessible anywhere else.
      Let’s me select long run days, but otherwise assumes 7 days a week training.
      TrainAsONE gives me a lot more control.
      But awesome! Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    • MikeDozer

      Do you have spare fr955 which you can test two maps? i am using them for years, on oryginal epix and fr945 with success. On fr955 both of them give me crashes .
      gps wielkopolska link to gpswielkopolska.pl
      and openfiestmap lite region poland link to garmin3.bbbike.org
      Crashes are so severe, that even i delete img file i got them constantly. I have to completely hardreset with button combination shortcut.

    • RunnerR

      Similar issue.. can’t do much with this. I’d love the dynamic racing plan..

      How does one set up the dynamic racing plan and see the screens DC shows on the 955 for looking at pace, etc.

    • Essentially, to see that, you need to set a race on your Garmin Connect Calendar (on web or desktop), and then also if you have two races, ensure one is set for primary. The race at a minimum needs to include the race distance. Ideally, it’d include the exact course.

  11. SeanO

    Update is not loading for me. I’m placing the GSP file in primary/Garmin but not being prompted to install after unplugging the device.

    • Marty Casey

      It was not automatic for me. I had to go to the system setting on the watch and select
      “Software update”.

      In there I found a selection for ” Software update available ” selected it and approved the update.

      Watch restarted and installed the update. I have a 945lte

    • Sean O

      Thanks for the tip Marty, sadly this isn’t showing as an option for me on F7S Solar.

    • SeanO

      Ignore me, works fine if you use the correct gsp file 🤦‍♂️

  12. Seba

    Hi everybody, a question, any news about Venu 2 update with these features? I think it has the same sensors…

  13. Lee Tennant

    I’d like to see at least some of these filter down to my Tactix Delta, but I guess it’s unlikely?

  14. Alex

    For clarification, whats the reference point app/feature?

    Can’t find it in the manuals and i don’t own a current gen device.

    • I don’t have any documentation on it, but in looking at it, it basically appears to be a compass/navigation app where you press start to add the reference point, and it seems to be a handy way to get back to that point (or, to select an existing waypoint or bearing).

  15. Martin Juárez

    Does it mean that for tri I have a real option on the Epix?

    • Not sure I understand the question?

    • Martin Juárez

      With these features Epix comes closer to 955, isn’t it? So, for those who’re looking for amoled (or kinda) and triathlon watch at at the same time it seems that New Apple watch features AND these beta features for Epix are coming closer, isn’t it?

  16. Kobi

    Does this update include the D2 Mach 1 since it’s basically an Epix with aviation features?

  17. Jared

    Do you think this build is stable enough for everyday use? Did Garmin give an ETA on when this will roll out as production firmware?

    • The general hope is sometime in July, assuming things go well. There’s no specific hard production date, rather, it’s based on specific quality levels. There are some hopeful dates, like any software company, but these days Garmin will generally push/delay most watch firmware releases if things aren’t ready.

  18. Mitchell Greenfield

    I can’t find the 955 links to enroll or download. Do you have links?

    • Joller

      It’s the 955 features being rolled out to Fenix 7/ Epix. No 955 links.
      The links to download are in the agarmin Forums, on the Alpha forums for Epix/Fenix 7

  19. Zohaib Niazi

    Hi would these features be coming to the Instinct 2 series

  20. JV

    Does this release do anything to fix the underreporting of total swim distance for open water swimming? GPS tracks are great, but somehow the distance and pace calculations based on those tracks are way off.

    It’s basically made the fenix 7 series and derivatives unusable for anyone doing swim sports outside a pool.

  21. Brian Reiter

    Note that the list of known issues in the 9.14a release are pretty significant:

    – crashing while capturing Solar charge
    – potentially unable to sync over Bluetooth
    – potentially unable to capture or sync body battery and stress to GCM
    – inability to install connectIQ widgets over Bluetooth
    – various connectIQ widget slowness and display glitches

    A number of these seem specifically related to Bluetooth and the solar charging controller.

    10.10 release in the f955 seems to have a serious bug possibly related to Bluetooth also which causes fast battery drain. (In assume that feature parity will happen when the major version numbers converge.)

    Garmin still seems to be having some trouble stabilizing foundational hardware features on the fenix 7 generation hardware platform: Bluetooth controller, solar controller, and the 7X flashlight controller all seem to not yet be fully stabilized.

    • Yup, there’s definitely some bugs on this Alpha firmware, which is as expected (and listed on that page).

      In terms of the FR955 10.10 release, I’ve seen reports of that, but also equally plenty of reports without that issue too. As for merging that bug into the Fenix 7 bugs, keep in mind that the firmware version coming out of the Fenix 7 Alpha today is basically a month down the road from the 10.10 FR955 production firmware. Said differently, just as Garmin readied the Fenix 7 alpha/beta firmware internally for the past weeks, the FR955 teams equally have beta versions they’re working on/from.

    • Brian Reiter

      I am honestly baffled at the organization of effort within Garmin software development. How can they have teams in separate divisions maintaining different forks of a codebase and feature sets out of sync for an identical hardware platform? It seems like either management dysfunction of dueling divisions fighting for turn and resources or else some kind of a master plan to stabilize and debug features in different SKU populations and then merge the whole thing together in a common release sometime in the Fall-ish.

      My assumption is that a fenix 7 and a forerunner 955 are identical hardware internally.

    • Garmin generally sees their Fenix vs Forerunner consumers are different segments/groups. In some areas, that’s more true, and in others, less true. If you look at people who will comment on this post, it’s less true. The people that comment on this specific post generally don’t think of Fenix vs top-end Forerunner as theoretically anything more than metal vs plastic. Sure, I think most of us would see validity in the Fenix having some higher-end features if it costs more, but mostly on the hardware side. Whereas if you look at people that want a Fenix watch because of long battery life and looks, and have zero interest in fitness (of which, there are truly tons of these people – it’s why Fenix is so popular) – then yes, that different segment statement is more true.

      Garmin has made a lot of strides in merging aspects of these divisions over the years. One of the double-edged swords of Garmin is that employees tend to say there forever. That’s great from a business standpoint in that everyone I talk to their knows the history of their products and the *WHY* behind decisions made, from countless years ago. If you set aside typical internet retort comments, the humans behind these decisions really do understand their products incredibly well – in terms of why they do what they do, and the features they do. There are very few companies I talk to, where their employees get it that deeply. Because again, Garmin retains employees forever – whereas most other companies don’t as deep across the board.

      However, the singular challenge with that, is that these employees often spend their careers with that product group (e.g. Outdoor/Fenix or Forerunner or Edge, etc…). That’s great in terms of that institutional knowledge, but less great in terms of looking beyond their product line. Obviously, these teams work together, of course they do. And they work waaaaay better today than they did 2 years ago or 5 years ago. But there are countless examples of things that just lack some sort of standards across the Garmin ecosystem.

      Many of these are little things – like the way widgets graphs work on the FR955 vs the Fenix 7. Or that on the Edge it’s called Course Points, whereas on the Garmin Forerunner/Fenix it’s called Up Ahead. It’s literally the exact same feature in 2022, why are they different? Pick one, and be done with it. Or he differences between touch on the Fenix 7 vs the FR955. These are the pieces that lack some middle-body stepping in and saying “No, it’s all the same, figure it out.”

      And again, there are so many things that are so much better than they were years ago. But yes, I do think at some point there has to be a tribal merge here on these watches truely releasing the same firmware at exactly the same time, with whatever feature are toggled on/off being done behind the scenes based on the specific model. Hopefully, the trajectory Garmin is on takes them close to that end-goal (or, at least my end goal I don’t know if its theirs).

    • Brian Reiter

      That is super-interesting and encouraging on some level to hear that Garmin has such a good history of employee retention. It makes me think it must be a good place to work.

      I don’t believe the divisional / branding structure of Outdoor vs Fitness serves them well for wearables. There is substantial crossover and the segmentation is significantly about wealth and aesthetics. I just don’t believe this is a sensible division because the Venn diagram of fitness and outdoors has huge overlap.

      Here are some non-scientific observations in the Zimbabwe and South Africa orbit.

      – People who aspire to an outdoorsy lifestyle image (but maybe aren’t really there in reality) will buy fenix despite having no use for the vast majority of the features. (I think this is what you were talking about.) I think that is because the forerunner watches have an aesthetic that only someone acculturated to it could love.
      – All of the triathlon people in their 40s and 50s in my orbit choose fenix over forerunner because it is a “nicer” case
      – Most ultra trail running and mountain biking people I know aspire to fenix but some choose the forerunner or instinct models on economic considerations. A handful of people sport suunto 5/9 and coros apex.
      – Many people who are not strictly cyclists seem to upgrade to a fenix watch from a forerunner before having an Edge + forerunner for cycling and other sports.
      – Road marathoners and ultra runners (Comrades and Two Oceans on the road are huge here) people tend toward the lower end of the forerunner range or Apple Watch and a small number Suunto and Polar. This group seems the most cost-sensitive.
      – Random outdoorsy people who are into the hiking and camping spectrum seem to buy fenix or instinct.

      Coros has until recently not been very available on the market in Southern Africa. I note that Gerta Stein in South Africa is sponsored by Coros now that she left her Nedbank / Nike team and she set a course record at Two Oceans this year. I think this means Coros has entered the South African market more significantly and I expect Coros to sell a lot there where people are a bit “Scottish” (as they say) about looking for “value for money” and duties on electronics imports and VAT drive the price of Garmin pretty stratospheric.

      The dominant entry level used to be TomTom with the high end dominated by Garmin. TomTom is gone. Apple Watch — especially the AW3 budget one — is kind of a default for people taking up running now.

      I think Garmin needs more focus and a redoubled commitment to software quality and value in order to survive the disruption form Apple with a much more advanced architecture and marketing to take the mid and high end market as well as a and low-end disruption from Coros and fitbit. This internecine arcane differentiation between fitness and outdoors with stumbled rollouts in each division is not helping.

    • Alex

      In case somebody wonders why employees don’t leave Garmin, at least not the HQ in the Kansas City metro:
      1. Garmin is a great employer, especially if you’re into endurance sports
      2. Except for Cerner, there aren’t any other big companies in that space in the metro
      3. People in KC are extremely loyal to the city/metro (and its sports teams). Like the polar opposite of Atlanta where you rarely meet anyone who was born there

  22. Michael Irmer

    Hi Ray,

    will the new features missing come to the 955? Like
    – Added SatIQ support
    – Added categorization to Activity setup
    – Added a “What’s New” screen to call out new features in software updates
    – Added widget glance folders

    • I sent over that exact list last night. I suspect I’ll get clarity here sometime today.

    • Andrea

      SatIQ support it’s something that we can expect also in the new edge 1040?
      It should be the same GPS chip right?

    • Vdude

      Would like to know also about Cycling ability feature for 955 coming from Edge 1040; as it has come to Fenix 7, itshould also be made available for 955, right?

    • Confirmed that SatIQ is coming to both the FR255/FR955. Production date is slated for early August, with beta starting prior to that.

      For Widget glances and Categorization, there isn’t yet an exact date on when those will hit the FR955. They’re finalizing the when (it’s gone past the if). For the FR255, they don’t think it needs the activity profile categorization as it has far fewer profiles. So at the moment the plans are fuzzy on whether or not it’ll get it.

      I realized I forgot to include in my e-mail the What’s New screen. I’ll add it on the next volley.

    • Rob

      Also what about the Stocks widget for 955? Thanks

    • Hoot

      I just got the 955 Solar and I’m surprised, that it doesn’t have the sleep mode you find on the F7. I think that a nifty thing the helps you to safe battery over time. From my point of view, each Garmin should offer that, but the new watches should definitely have it. Maybe the different team should share more information when they get together in their meetings.

  23. Oskars

    What about the basic FR55? Isn’t it also “this generation” ? Is it getting anything new?

    • I wouldn’t really expect any or many of these features to end up there. Most of these are more advanced features that wouldn’t end up on the budget running watch anyways. But I suppose the bigger issue is that yeah, numbering-wise it got ahead of the game a bit. But it doesn’t have the same core GPS hardware as these watches.

  24. Pavel Vishniakov

    I hope some of those things (namely Cycling ability and widget glance folders) will make its way to 955 as well. Especially glance folders – Fenix 6 had a very nice “My Day” widget that I used a lot, but 955 doesn’t have it anymore. Folders look like a decent alternative.

  25. Martin

    rollout of Beta for FR955 means end of beta FWs for regular 945?

  26. Martyn Thompson

    Would you say that the 6/6Pro series is now unlikely to get any of these additional features? Doesn’t seem like much has been released for that since the big update back in Feb?

  27. acousticbiker

    If you’ve had a chance to use 9.14a on an epix, how stable is it?

    • Nick K

      YMWV… Seems to be very stable for me, no reboots, no battery drain, even Training Readiness factors show up in the GCM page. The only problem I have after 24 hours is a training calendar sync which works intermittently.

      Others reported fairly significant battery drain, some crashes, and other problems.

  28. Thomas Wylie

    On a slight tangent but isince garmin are rolling some features to slightly older devices is there any plan for the 830 to get any of the performance/training features that were on the 1030+? I forget exactly what they all were now, but it seemed to have workout recommendations you could use with the trainer via the edge computer. When Lama did his video on it he suggested garmin were planning to eventually roll them down but then nothing.

  29. kaz

    It is positive Garmin is starting to use Alpha vs Beta more “correct”

    The latest release is NOT a BETA – it is an Alpha release and as such contains known BIG bugs – not only in the new things but might have it in the “older features” as well.

    That is why the Alpha Garmin release can ONLY be manually installed (as of now)

    Once it reaches BETA stage – normal “old fashioned” standard is “All known big bugs are supposed to have been fixed and most other small (known) ones are fixed as well”

    When it reaches BETA from Garmin – it can “auto-install” if you have enrolled your watch in the “beta” program.

    So thumbs up for going in the right direction for Garmin!

    And great they let external users join the Alpha tests – it is normally risky to part-take but external feedback can be gold during Alpha tests.

    So in short – if you install the Alpha version ANYTHING could happen. So only install it if you can live with a semi non-functional watch or revert to the non-Alpha test version.

    Installing an Alpha version should normally remove any rights to complain loudly in public about any part of the watch function :) But but reports in the Garmin Alpha forum should be the outlet for any frustration/issue.


    • I’m all aboard those definitions, except, that’s actually not what Garmin is doing here.

      They simply renamed what was RC to Beta, and Beta to Alpha. Literally, that’s what they did by their own admission. Thus, the RC builds (that come over WiFi) will only last a few days or a week if past history is any indication and have a relatively short timeframe for feedback.

      True Alpha quality software in software development is FAAAAAR less stable than what Garmin has here. What Garmin is calling Alpha, every other company including themselves calls Beta.

      I know it’s nitpicky, and some of it would be resolved by simply allowing so-called Alpha builds to be wirelessly installed.

  30. Alyssa

    Am I missing something or is the race calendar widget missing? I do have the ‘Primary Race’ option on my 7S (note that the custom photo doesn’t appear, and what’s listed on the watch as primary race seems to keep changing to the last event that is edited on my Garmin calendar) but I do not see the Race Calendar that lists all of my races as an option.

  31. Andrew

    E) Race Calendar & Dynamic Training Plans It would be much more useful if Garmin added it to the Garmin connect calendar.

  32. Jonas Raberg

    Hi DCR,

    Than you for the excellent information.

    Do you know what features of the 955 Training load functions have been implemented in this alpha version? And what is missing?

    I know you wrote that the 7-day graph was still missing. But does the alpha also use for example the new way to calculate the 7 day load (that a workout 6 days ago has less impact than a workout yesterday)?

    Kind regards, Jonas

    • Nick K

      You get HRV status (captured overnight, reported in GCM and web, but no watch widget); training readiness widget on the watch that doesn’t seem to work particularly well, or report anything; 7 day load seems to have been changed to acute load calculation wise, along with some of the labels around training status in GCM and on the web but overall isn’t on par with FR955 yet.

  33. OW

    Thanks for a great and insightful post (as always).

    I have just enrolled with the beta/alpha program and downloaded the files but I’m wondering how I go about installing these on my watch. Using a Fenix 7 and running a Mac.


    • Jonas Brodin

      Connect the Watch to a computer with USB and access the watch with Explorer (win) or the app Android file transfer if you have Mac.

      Then read the text file you find in the folder when you unpack the alpha version zip file. There you find the instruction of how you install the beta.

      Hope this helps.

  34. Brian Macedo

    I know that the multiband function needs hardware to work. Is there a chance the normal fenix 7 will have this hardware and in a future update release the multiband function? I still don’t understand how it would be possible for a FR255 to have multiband and the standard fenix 7 not. Greetings from Brazil

  35. Carlo

    Any idea if I use a Epix 2 and a Instinct 2 will the data for these new features be shared and merged. ie Physio or True Up. I want to purchase a Instinct 2 as a second watch but find when I have tried with my Fenix 6x and 245 training data did not mix well.

    • Nick K

      No, sadly HRV status/training readiness are per device, similar to body battery. Maybe it will change in the future, but now it is what it is.

    • Carlo

      I don’t get it why they do this. I would own multiple Garmin watches if they could get this sorted out. Well my wife is happy I guess I won’t be spending on other watches.

    • I confirmed it’s on their list to add HRV Status to Physio-Trup, it just hasn’t happened yet. I get the logic though, in terms of immediacy of things to solve, there’s very very very very few customers that have both a FR955 and a Fenix 7, or some combination of high-end watches that are just starting to support this feature.

      Part of the reason it hasn’t happened yet, is they’re doing it as part of a bigger Physio-True-Up re-architecting, which they hope helps make things smoother than it can often be today (as anyone who has multiple Garmin watches can attest to).

  36. Giles E

    Really interesting one just happenned on my Epix2 which I put 9.14 onto last night……

    At the end of the run I had a lactate threshold update notification, except it also gave me a threshold power too (in my case 350W) and as I had no footpods / running pods / Garmin heart rate sensors on (I just had a Polar verity Sense OHR armband on) suggests that power from only the wrist might be not far away after all?

    No phone with me, so I couldn’t get a screenshot unfortunately!

  37. John

    Hi Ray,
    Were you able to get confirmation from Garmin that the Morning report and Acute training load will still get pushed to the Epix Gen 2?

  38. Stefan

    Hi Ray, exzellent review as always. Do you have any size comparison shoots 955 vs 745. Would be great to see the difference. Cheers Stefan

    • I have one quick one handy. I don’t know if it’s made it to the review yet, but since I’m sitting here transferring terabytes of files off SD cards and small HD’s right now, it’s handy. Orange one is the FR745. The white one directly next to it is the FR945 LTE. And the white one on the far right side is the FR955 Solar.

    • And here’s the side profile shot, in the same order.

      Left to right: COROS Pace 2 (white), FR245 (black), FR745 (orange), FR945 LTE (white), FR255 (black), FR945 (black), FR955 Solar (white), Fenix 7 Base (silver), COROS Vertix 2

  39. Raul

    Do you think that the Garmin D2 Mach 1 which is more or less the Epix is going to get that upgrade too?

  40. I love the Folder option for Glances. What is really nice I discovered – Compass and Altitude or Barometer “stack” so the Bearing and the Altitude display side by side.
    Now I can quickly see my bearing and altitude.
    Then if I want the Compass rose, I can drill down into this Map folder. Or drill down, scroll down, for the Altitude display, or Barometer display.
    Same for Calendar and Notifications.

    • Neil Jones

      The ‘ABC’ glance (rather than the separate Altimeter, Barometer and Compass glances) has always given you what I think you’re describing here: a single view combining all three live readings that you can drill down from if you want full-screen views of any in isolation.

  41. Thomas

    Hi Ray,

    Do you know if the new “Kinda-Native-Running-Power” is identical to the connectIQ app that is currently available?

    I’ve been using this app paired with a HRM-PRO strap and my F935 for a while now. One thing that also strikes me as odd is that Total Work kJ is always much higher than reported calories.

    Just curious if you have noticed this? Generally with cycling it is more or less the same.

    • Paul S.

      @Thomas, that’s because a cycling power meter measures the power put into forward motion. The body is about 25% efficient in converting energy in the muscles into power at the pedals, 1 C (food calorie = 1 kcal) = 4.184 kJ, and 1/4.184 = 0.239, so for cycling Garmin in the past simply used the number of kJ measured by the meter for Calories burned. (Recently they started throwing in some “metabolic calories”.)

      For running power, we have absolutely no idea what the power number they show is supposed to mean. (I’m not a runner, but I have a Ph.D in physics, so I’m interested in things like this.). Garmin’s number is different (higher) than Stryd’s which is almost the same as COROS and there are others that I forget that are in between. I’ve seen a lot of bogus explanations for why the numbers are different and different from what the same person gets on a bike but the fundamental problem is we have no idea what the power number they show is supposed to represent (what they think they are “measuring”).

    • Thomas

      Thanks @Paul – Appreciate the explanation, I guess as long as the numbers are consistant into them selves we have something measurable to gauge efforts, I stumbled across a metric validation from Stryd outlining how they quantify their power output – if you havn’t read already link to storage.googleapis.com


    • Paul S.

      Thanks for that. Looks interesting, I’ll have to read it in detail later.

  42. Mathieu

    Also interesting that same premium golf features (virtual caddie, wind speed/direction) previously only on S62 are coming to Epix 2/ Fenix 7.

  43. James Windle

    Slightly off topic, but are Garmin’s overnight updates (specifically the 6X) killing any one else’s recurring alarms? I have now missed several early rides due to that I perceive to be an update issue. With no alarm going off, I reboot the watch by default, and am usually greeted by an update screen very shortly after. Feel’s like something to raise with Garmin, assuming this is not just me!

  44. Eli

    I wonder if the new metrics will be added to their health api:
    link to developer.garmin.com
    As in if other apps can then make use of the data like your HRV avg while sleeping, This could help with training programs understand better how your body is responding to training outside of just looking at your activities. More personalized training could be very helpful

  45. Jacob

    After my run today it gave me an updated threshold along with my pace as usual. In addition, however, it showed me a CP of 388 watts. My Stryd measured nowhere near this, leading me to believe it was calculated at the wrist. Any thoughts? Running 9.14 on Fenix 7.

  46. Sam C

    Im a huge Garmin fan, but Garmin watches are getting to be like Android phones with the fragmented updates. If the hardware supports new features, the watch should get an update, period. Instead, Garmin may or may not release new features to older watches, and if they do it’ll be on the slowest timetable they can muster. They are almost “forcing” people to upgrade if they want the latest and greatest software. At least Apple updates every device at the same time, as long as the hardware can handle it.

  47. acousticbiker

    When using SatIQ, will there be any indication during or after an activity what satellite setting was used during what part of the activity?

    • Sadly not, I had asked the same. I do wish there was some logging or such. Well, to be clear, I’m near-100% sure there is logging (since that’s probably how they gathered that 15% stat), but just nothing that we as end-users can access.

      Maybe someone wants to go for a meander through the .FIT files…

  48. Baz

    Is there anyway we can turn off the native power? I use HRM PRO and the power data is automatically uploaded to trainingpeaks which skyrockets my TSS. I don’t intend to use power as a measure for power. So, is there a way I can turn that off?

    Also, is the StatIQ coming to the forerunner 955?


  49. Alexey Goloviznin

    Hi, Ray!

    Thanks for the report again.

    I’m using Epix 2 + Stryd + HRM-Pro

    I’ve noticed that you runnning power is also huge in comparison to Stryd and with bike FTP. Mine stryd power is a little higher than bike one, but new garming native running is huge and missleading any software like XERT or GC…

    What to you think? Should Garmin calibrate it to the normal level?

    • Yeah, the Stryd roughly matching to cycling FTP is largely a happy accident. Physically speaking, the biomechanics are different.

      As far as Garmin changing, I’m totally good with it, but it should be all of them agreeing to it. Since Polar is up in the same boat too. One might see it as Garmin being stubborn, which, is fair, but at the end of the day, their science is no different than Stryd’s.

      I’d just about guarantee you the reason COROS chose the algorithm route to match Stryd, is because it matches Stryd. I mean, they basically admitted exactly that when they launched it. And I suspect Apple pretty much decided the same as well, since I suspect they knew people would pull out a Stryd sensor to compare it. It’s the path of least resistance.

      Ultimately, I don’t care what the algorithm is, since it’s just that – an algorithm that’s not based in physical realities that accounts for everything. However, one would hope then that someday when actual force-sensor based insoles become more common (akin to what a few insole companies have done), that those numbers match up.

  50. Bsb

    Obviously alpha is the new beta. That being said, with beta updates being ‘release candidates’, is there any reason not to sign up for beta updates? Are they essentially stable and just get to you a bit faster than actual updates.


  51. Berlin-Ulli

    Thanks for the info, Ray. Good to know that I get all the updates on my Epix 2, but then again, I will not have them on my Venu 2. As mentioned before, while I really love the Epix for running, it is too bulky for 7×24. However, wearing the venu 2 makes me miss more and more new features. Yes, I do understand that not all features can end up on all devices. Still, I am more and more disappointed that Garmin is so bad at synchronising their devices. Just my 2 cents

  52. Carlo

    Thanks for the info. At one time I had for different watches. Drives me crazy that this has not been sorted out yet. I just want to give Garmin more money lol once they fix this.

  53. Hey folks! Just a quick update that Garmin has released an Instinct 2 series Alpha update that adds running power and a handful of other things, plus a flotilla of bug fixes: link to forums.garmin.com

    Obviously, this is the first piece of the promised Instinct 2 series features.

  54. Omar M.

    Hi Ray – any insight as to when this alpha can be expected for the 945 LTE?

  55. Eli

    New alpha is out: link to forums.garmin.com
    (personally still waiting on a beta before I install)

  56. Veldkornet

    Does Cycling Ability work via Physio True-Up?
    Or in other works, if I do workouts on Zwift (with a trainer that has power etc) and that syncs to Garmin Connect,
    Will my Epix then show updated Cycling Ability the next time it syncs?
    Or would I need to record the activity on the Epix directly?

    • Veldkornet

      To answer my own question… Yes! Activities from Zwift also count! I tested it.

    • BiketyBike

      Nice, thanks for the follow up. Trying to decide between the 955 and Fenix, and will be using with Zwift / TrainerRoad with a Kickr, and outdoors with a PM and Edge 530. Seems like it’s confirmed this will come to the 955 too, so it’ll be a good way to get the 1040 features without having to go all in on the head unit.

  57. Giles E

    Here it is again, now I got a picture…..

    No running pod, no hrm and I’ve been given a power number for running on my Epix…..

  58. John Clark

    Am I right in thinking that the below features will not be rolled back to Fenix 6? Sorry if the answer is in here somewhere, searched but could not find it.

    A) HRV Status**
    B) Daily Training Readiness
    C) Acute Training Load**
    D) Morning Report
    E) Native Running Power**
    F) Race Calendar & Race Event Widgets
    G) Daily Suggested Workouts now accounting for races on the calendar

  59. Marc

    Ray, did you hear anything about a update in the Garmin Racepredictor in this new version?

    Tired of waiting for the beta update I sideloaded the alpha version. Works fine for now.

    One important difference which I haven’t seen described here is that I noticed that my times in racepredictor have jumped upwards! For instance my prediction for the 5 K is aprox. 2:30 slower ( and more realistic) than it was before the alpha update!

    If this is the case it would be a much needed update because we all know that the Racepredictor is (was?) notoriously unreliable and far too optimistic.
    On the site link to hetgeheimvanhardlopen.nl they analyzed this:

    ‘The original patent of FirstBeat Technologies (Garmin’s partner) states that the oxygen consumption during running is calculated with the formula: VO2 max = 3.5*v, where v is the speed in km/h.
    With our universal running model, however, we have deduced that the correct formula for oxygen consumption (without air resistance) is: VO2 max = 3.77*v. This corresponds to a difference of over 7%.’

    • Marc

      BTW: Prediction time has especially changed for the 5k,10k and 21k. 42k race prediction time didn’t jump up.

  60. Chris Winterhack

    It looks like “Training Status 2.0” is in the latest beta for the Instinct 2. Is this different than Training Readiness?

    I’m so confused.

    • Training Readiness is a bit of an umbrella concept, whereas Training Status 2.0 is a component of it.

      In short, the Instinct 2 isn’t getting Training Readiness (as the like-priced FR255 doesn’t have it).

  61. Ethan Evans

    Are these updates coming to the 245 music

  62. Sean K.


    I was thinking of experimenting with the native running power in my Fenix 7X SS using the beta software. Does the watch software have the ability to detect and automatically update the threshold power for running and in turn update the power zones? Or, if I were to do a running test, will it generate updated threshold power and zones? I’m just not clear on what to set initially. I’m only familiar with my Stryd CP data or even my MAP from testing with a Polar watch.



  63. Jacob

    Hey Ray, looks like some interesting updates were made to the Daily Suggested workouts. I compete at a very high level and I was wondering multiple things: how specific can the DSW get? Can the sustain training for an elite athlete? I have seen that Garmin has verified they are functional with a sub-3hour marathoner, but I am looking at much faster than that.

  64. Navaneetha

    Great content through every single blog. Any expected timelines on when the live update will roll through to Epix series? Many thanks in advance

  65. Seth

    Any word on if the widget glance folders will come to the FR255 or not? Thanks!

  66. Pranith

    Hi Ray – any insight as to when this alpha can be expected for the 945 LTE? It’s August mid and still no sign of it.

  67. Hi Ray

    As ever, great info. Most reliable source out there. Thanks from us all!

    Any chance some of these will roll out to the Vivosmart 5? Particularly readiness and hrv? It would make moving over from whoop a no brainier really, surely a massive win for Garmin (and the public!).

    I don’t want to wear a training watch 24/7 but a band, yeah, so to capture these without whoop coin would be great.

    (Sorry if it’s elsewhere here, I’m late to the party, as ever, and have looked through… but …)


  68. Nathan M.

    Looks like my Fenix 7 quietly dropped the beta symbol to a normal variant/ release candidate of 9.33 which I think went live today to the public. Where is the morning report screen? Lol the wait continues I guess.

  69. Andre

    Some word on garmin regarding features, specially for 945 lte!
    link to www8.garmin.com

    • Gerard

      I’ve seen this exciting message as well ! It looks like the 945 LTE gets everything except the dual gps bit for which it does not have the hardware. DOes anybody have any idea when this august update will be delivered to the 945 LTE. SInce it is september now…..

    • josemas23

      There is still nothing about the forerunner 945 lte update expected for August 2022?

  70. Nathan

    Had my Epix 2 update to 9.33 a couple nights ago, and now my race predictions are totally off. They were admittedly optimistic before, but now they’re showing WAY slow. Over 36 minutes for a 5K when I did 4.3 miles in 39 minutes two days ago on a training run. The times also aren’t coming down with my training runs over the past 2 days. Anyone else seeing issues like this?

    • Lee P Tennant

      I have been seeing that for a while on the Tactix Delta solar. Today it updated to 23.0.0 and its got worse. Now shows my 10km time as 1:05:01 yet my recent 10km time is 0:44:00 so it’s gone further out. So think they still need to do some work on that.

  71. Andre

    Finally the beta for 945 lte popped out, lots of new features
    link to forums.garmin.com