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Best Garmin Watch for Duathlon (running + Cycling)

If you’re training for a duathlon, investing in a GPS multi-sport watch is a good idea. This means that popular titles like Fitbit, Apple, and Samsung aren’t going to cut it – you need something specifically designed for athletes.

Garmin is one of the leading brands in this category, and they offer a range of watches that are perfect for duathlon training.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the best Garmin watches for duathlon, and we’ll also give you some tips on what to look for when choosing a GPS watch for this specific sport. Our research team has spent hours gleaning all this information for you.

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3 Best Garmin Watches For Duathlon:

As all these watches are from the same company, their features more and less overlap. Therefore, we are going to explain the first watch (Garmin Forerunner 945) in detail and would discuss the other two briefly, only explaining their key advantages over FR945.

Garmin Forerunner 945: Best Garmin Watch for Duathlon

Garmin Forerunner 945

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  • Price Range: Around $500-600
  • Weight & Size: 47 x 47 x 13.7 mm, 50 g
  • Display: 1.2 inches, sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP), 240 x 240 pixels
  • Companion App: Garmin ConnectIQ
  • Advanced Performance Metrics: Yes
  • Health and Fitness Metrics: Yes
  • Multisports Tracking: Yes
  • Music Storage & NFC Payment: Up to 1000 songs | Yes (Garmin Pay)
  • Battery Performance: Smartwatch Mode: Up to 2 weeks GPS mode with music: Up to 10 hours GPS mode without music: Up to 36 hours
  • Sensors: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, Garmin Elevate Wrist Heart Rate Monitor, Barometric Altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse Ox Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor

Garmin Forerunner 945 checks all the boxes for duathlon athletes. It’s lightweight, durable, but is still using the oldie transflective display with poor overall resolutions. The small screen real-estate might make things worst for on-screen data tracking. However, you can delve into all the metrics on the ConnectIQ app on your smartphone.

Forerunner 945 is packed with sensors that track all the advanced performance and health metrics you need.

Let us make a list for you to give you a better idea of its capabilities.

Running Metrics:

  • Pace Distance and Time
  • VO2 max estimate
  • Race Predictor
  • Foot Pod Capable
  • Heart Rate Zone
  • Lactate Threshold
  • Vertical Ratio/Oscillation
  • Ground Contact Time and Balance
  • Performance Conditions
  • Stride Length
  • Training Status/Effect

Cycling Metrics:

  • Speed, Distance, Time, Laps
  • Cadence
  • Training Stress Score, Normalized Power, Intensity Factor, Total Power (**When connected with an external Power Meter)

Health and Fitness Metrics:

  • Intensity Minutes
  • Body Battery
  • Respiration
  • All Day stress
  • Continuous Pulse OX tracking
  • Sleep Score
  • Calories Burned

It is not possible for us to explain each and every feature here, but thankfully Wareable has made a comprehensive guide which you can find here.

Apart from cycling and running, it also tracks swimming and a range of other sports which makes it also a top contender for triathlon and decathlon athletes.

And if you need to take a break from the training, it has up to 1000 songs of music storage and can download playlists from Spotify. Plus, with Garmin Pay, you don’t have to worry about bringing your wallet with you on your runs.

Finally, the battery life is excellent and will last you up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode and up to 10 hours with GPS tracking and music playback.

Garmin Fenix 7: Best Watch for Multisports

Garmin Fenix 7

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  • Price Range: Around $700
  • Weight & Size: 47 x 47 x 14.5 mm | 79 g
  • Display: 1.3 inches, sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP), 260 x 260 pixels
  • Companion App: Garmin ConnectIQ
  • Advanced Performance Metrics: Yes
  • Health and Fitness Metrics: Yes
  • Multisports Tracking: Yes
  • Music Storage: 16GB
  • Battery Performance: Up to 18 days | Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 57 days | GPS Only: Up to 57 hours | All Satellite Systems: Up to 40 hours | All Satellite systems + Music: Up to 10 hours | Max Battery GPS: Up to 136 hours | Expedition GPS: Up to 40 days
  • Sensors: Garmin Elevate heart rate sensor, GPS, GLONASS Galileo, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope Accelerometer, Thermometer, Pulse OX blood oxygen saturation monitor

Garmin Fenix 7 is the latest watch from the company and the most expensive on our list. Almost all its performance and health metrics overlap with FR 945, but there are a few domains in which Fenix 7 has a considerable advantage.

First, it has a bigger, sharper, and touch-enabled screen. The watch offers better battery life and has a Solar variant that can last for even months on a single charge.

Also, it packs a new Elevate sensor and a refined algorithm, which further gives it an edge over FR 945 in terms of heart rate and other health metrics tracking. Lastly, it offers more activity profiles in case you want to do more than the duathlon this summer.

On the other hand, an expensive price tag and heavy build of the watch might be a turn-off for competitive athletes.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music:

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music:

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  • Price Range: Around $300
  • Weight & Size: 42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 (mm), 38.5 g
  • Display: 1.2 inches, sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP), 240 x 240 pixels
  • Companion App: Garmin ConnectIQ
  • Advanced Performance Metrics: Yes
  • Health and Fitness Metrics: Yes
  • Multisports Tracking: Yes
  • Music Storage: up to 500 songs
  • Battery Performance: Up to 7 days | GPS mode with music: Up to 6 hours | GPS mode without music: Up to 24 hours
  • Sensors: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Garmin, Elevate heart rate sensor, Compass, Accelerometer, Pulse ox, Thermometer

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is an affordable alternative to its successor, and it is about 12 grams lighter in weight.

It covers almost all the running metrics that you get in its big brother except for features like Lactate Threshold and Stress Score. But the story is entirely different when it comes to tracking the important cycling metrics. It doesn’t connect to the power meter so doesn’t track wattage and associated data. Even the speed and cadence data are not available unless you connect it with external sensors.

In the health and fitness tracking department, there is little difference between FR245 and FR945.

Also, there is storage for music on the watch itself. You can download playlists from Spotify, Amazon Music, or Deezer or upload good old mp3 songs through your pc or phone. However, there is no NFC payment feature on this watch which is truly a disappointment for a mid-range smartwatch.

The battery life is really good and can last up to 7 days on a single charge. However, if you use it for GPS tracking and music playback, that number will be reduced to 6 hours.

What to Look for in a Garmin Watch for Duathlon?

There are a few key things that you’ll want to look for in a Garmin watch specifically designed for duathlon:

Weight and Build Quality: As with any piece of sports equipment, you’ll want to choose a watch that is both lightweight and durable. The last thing you want is a watch that feels bulky and cumbersome when you’re trying to focus on your training.

Advanced Performance Metrics: One of the main reasons to invest in a Garmin watch is for the advanced metrics. Its high-end watches are packed with sensors that track everything from your Stress Score, Heart Rate Zones to Training effects and Status, and this data can be extremely useful as it provides you with valuable insight into improving your performance and helps you up to your game.

Health and Fitness Tracking: In addition to tracking your performance metrics, a good Garmin watch should also track all of your health and fitness data. This includes everything from your steps taken, calories burned, and sleep quality to your Vo2 Max and recovery time.

Multi-Sport Support: As the name suggests, duathlon involves two different sports, so it’s important to choose a watch that supports both running and cycling. Some of the higher-end Garmin watches also support swimming, so if you want to use your watch for triathlon training as well, this is something to keep in mind.

Music Storage & Contactless Payment: Training for a duathlon can be pretty demanding, so it’s nice to have some music to keep you going. A few of the higher-end Garmin watches come with storage for up to 500 songs, which is perfect for those long training rides and runs. Also, if the watch has contactless payment (Garmin Pay), it would save you the trouble to keep your wallet with you all the time.

Battery Performance: Generally, ****Garmin watches are good when it comes to battery life. However, as plan to use your watch for multi-sport training, you may need to factor in extra battery life (at least 24 hours with continuous GPS tracking) to cover the added wear and tear.

Frequently Asked Questions?

What is the difference between Duathlon and Triathlon?

The main difference between duathlon and triathlon is that in the latter you also swim, while in duathlon you only run and cycle. The third leg in triathlon is replaced with a running in Duathlon. Both events have transition zones in between sports, in which athletes change gear.

Garmin vs Polar for Duathlon?

Both Garmin and Polar compete fiercely in the market of GPS sports watches. However, Garmin’s watches are better equipped when it comes to tracking advanced performance metrics, health and fitness data, as well as multisport support. This is why Garmin is a better choice for duathlon training. However, keep in mind that Garmin watches are usually more expensive.

Garmin vs Suunto for Duathlon?

Suunto is another big player in the GPS sports watch market. Like Garmin, its watches offer advanced performance tracking, health and fitness data, as well as multisport support. However, Suunto watches are usually more geared towards outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing, while Garmin’s watches tend to be more sports-focused. So here, Garmin seems a suitable fit for Duathlon.