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(The Gear Loop) - Garmin has lifted the lid on a recent software update that brings a host of new features to a number of its high-end fitness and running watches.

The free software updates, which have started to roll out to compatible devices already, will see wrist-based running power introduced, with the ability to manage efforts and receive real-time metrics surrounding the power output on a run - without the need for an additional accessory.


Updates will apply to the Garmin Fenix 7, second generation Epix devices, Tactix 7, Enduro 2, second generation Marq models and both the Forerunner 255 and 955 series of running watches. Separate updates will also apply to the Edge 1040 and Edge Explore 2 cycling computers.

Alongside the running power feature, Garmin has also introduced its morning report, which acts as a home screen widget that delivers daily workout suggestions, information about last night’s sleep and HRV status, plus when paired with a smartphone, the day’s weather .

Grade adjusted pace will also be a welcome sight to runners, as this will offer the equivalent flat ground pace when running either up or downhill, making it easier to pace over varied and undulating terrain.

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An auto rest feature also comes to the ultrarun activity screen and this automatically keeps track of time spent at an aid station or checkpoint without needing to pause the run activity.

In addition to this, a NextFork data screen can now be added, which allows users to see the distance to the next trail intersection as well as the name of the upcoming trail when navigating via the watch either on foot or by bike.

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Users have been calling for a backcountry snowboard activity field and their cries have been answered, as this now joins the existing backcountry skiing profile. 

On top of this, Garmin owners can now track stats when playing the uber-niche game of disc golf (golf with a frisbee). And for those who want to keep score and get the distance to the basket for more than 14,000 disc golf courses on the wrist, there’s a dedicated Disc Connect iQ app to download.

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Cycling computers have also been blessed with an update that sees live event sharing added for the first time. This is a bit like a share location function on Google Maps or Waze and automatically sends ride updates to family and friends on a smartphone or desktop computer. While powering through, friends can stay up to date with a cyclist’s speed, miles completed and more, allowing them to keep up with performance during a ride or race.

To further add to the competitive experience, compatible computers will benefit from spectator messaging, so those watching can send messages of support to the rider, which will show on a head unit.

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Finally, the range-topping Edge 1040 receives a more complete training package with targeted adaptive coaching. Here, users can view the entire week of daily suggested workouts directly on the device, rather than the smartphone UI, which adapt to match performance, recovery and the demands of upcoming events in the Garmin Connect calendar.

To update your device, make sure you enable automatic updates on said device or try and push it through manually using Garmin Express.

Writing by Leon Poultney.