9 things I had no idea my Garmin watch could do

I bought a Garmin Forerunner 645 music a couple of years ago now, and I kept finding great features as I went along. I’m not one for reading all the instructions and just found things as I needed them! So I thought I’d compile some for any one else out there in the same boat as me when I first got one – hitting the run button and not much else!


Pacing was one of the first things I was AMAZED by. I started using it as I signed up to be a parkrun pacer, and it’s surprisingly easy to set up.

Enter the run mode, and then enter the run menu (by holding down the 9PM up button) select training -> Set a target -> Distance and time -> Select or enter the distance. You can now enter a time manually, use a prediction or you own record!

When you are running it will then show you the time ahead or behind, along with your estimated finish time!

Jeffing and custom modes

I have quite a few custom modes set up. It’s really handy – you can see here – Run (normal run), Run nl (Run with auto laps turned off), Jeffing…

For no laps I took a copy of run by using the 9PM button again and selecting “copy activity”. I then turned off the auto lap and saved it as a new activity.

For Jeffing, I copied the run activity again on my watch, and used the alerts menu. Select run/walk and set up your intervals here. It will then beep and give you notifications when it’s time to run and when it’s time to walk!

Screen Setup

I love custom screens! The one below is for when I don’t care about pace, just vert! I also have a screen showing overall time / distance pace, current lap distance / pace, a heart rate screen, time only (for when I’m ignoring everything on the run but still want to track it) and probably my favourite: distance only.

I find distance only really useful when you’re just going for an easy run, you want to know how far you have been but you’re trying to do pace by effort rather than numbers.

So how do you edit this?

Once again, it’s the button at 9PM on this watch (hold it when you’re on the run screen). Select Run settings -> data screens. You can then go through and add, take away and build custom screens showing you everything you want to see.

Making a route

This is a great way to find new adventures! In the Garmin app select training – courses – create course. I like to select the direction as random and see what it gives me. The course should sync automatically.

And then following it

On the run screen, you guessed it… it’s that “up” button again… navigation -> courses -> select your course! Garmin will then have a red triangle showing you which way to go on your watch, and you can see below, the direction it’s telling me where to go (turn round, you missed the path basically!).

It will show you the distance remaining and your ETA until the end.

Strava Segments

You can get Strava segments to come up on your watch. I use this at parkrun, where I know there’s certain segments I want to do quickly and try and beat my last time! It will pop up the name of the segment, along with the records while you are running. There’s a few steps to get it all working, so here’s the Strava page on the subject.

Quick Replies

I didn’t realise that I could set up my own quick replies in the app. I set up a few that I use when running… like… “I’ll text you later, I’m out running”, if it’s something that requires a prompt reply. Otherwise I’ll just ignore you, ha!

Click on your watch picture – sounds and alerts – text response in the app to set your own.

Count down distance

I find it very motivating on longer distances to count down, rather than up! This is really similar to setting up pacing – select Training -> Set a target -> Distance only. You then get your estimated finish time and distance left to go displayed.

Navigate back to start

There are two different methods for this accessed by that “up” button again… navigation -> back to start or you can find it on a paused run menu (where you normally end an activity).

You can choose either Tracback or straight line. Tracback will take you back along the route you came and straight line is exactly what it sounds like!


Straight line

I hope you found these tips useful and if you have any to share please pop them in the comments below!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Ali says:

    Awesome! I hate RTFM so this is really useful!

    Liked by 1 person

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