Garmin has quietly announced a new update for its Fenix 7, Epix 2 and Instinct 2 watches, revealing that Race Widget, HRV status, SatiQ and Garmin’s Stock Tracker are now available on the above watches. Previously, these features were only available on Garmin’s latest Forerunner watches, the Forerunner 955 and 255 series.
The Race Widget looks very timely for a wider rollout as summer approaches autumn and marathon season begins in the US and Europe. I’m in the process of setting up my own Race Widget on the 955 Solar for my first 26.2 mile run in April, so I predict many more runners will do the same in the coming months.
Race Widget is a comprehensive widget that allows you to better prepare for an upcoming event. When you put an upcoming race on your Garmin Connect online calendar, it changes its training recommendations and, as your event approaches, provides details like the likely weather forecast. If you have multiple events coming up, you can select one as your “primary” event.
You’ll be able to set a target time and upload a course, which can help Garmin adapt your recommended daily workouts for your next event. Combined with other features such as the training readiness score, you can ensure that you arrive at the starting line well equipped, properly trained and sufficiently recovered. This is useful if you’re running 10k locations, but absolutely essential if you’re running a marathon over the next few months.
Check out how to set up and use your running widget in the video below.
However, Race Widget is just a feature coming to Instinct 2, Epix 2 and Fenix 7. Heart Rate Variability, or HRV Status, allows you to “track heart rate variability during sleep for better control over recovery and a picture of well-being.” Training Status has also received an update that lets you incorporate improved sleep tracking, thanks to HRV status, into your recovery metrics.
SatIQ is another new feature that automatically turns off multiband GPS to save battery power and turns it on again when it’s needed most, like when you’re near tall buildings or in deep valleys.
How to get the latest update
Garmin says that “customers can update their smartwatch by enabling automatic updates from their device or using Garmin Express”. Express is free software for your computer, which you can download from the website Garmin website (opens in new tab) for PC or Mac. Express can help you regularly update your device automatically, syncing new software and maps. Express will automatically sync with Garmin Connect if you regularly update your Garmin account online.
Remember, only users of the Garmin Instinct 2, Epix 2 and Fenix 7 smartwatches will receive these free updates. Edge 1040 cycling computer users are getting a separate set of features, including music controls, HRV status, recent exercise history, and full eBike support, but we’ll cover that in a separate article.
Want to get more out of Garmin? Here are five Garmin Connect features you should use.