Explore the safety and tracking options on your Garmin watch

Did you know your watch can help you to stay safe when you’re out running? Here is our how-to guide to using your Garmin watch features.

Anything can happen when you’re out on a run. You might have an accident or fall; you might get lost; you may start to feel unwell or unable to finish your run; or you might just not feel that safe.

We hope that every run you embark on starts and finishes without incidence, but it’s a good idea to take precautions to ensure that if anything happens to you, someone knows about it and can offer assistance. Your Garmin running watch can be a really helpful tool, with built-in safety and tracking features. You might never need them, but if they’re all set up in advance, at least you can head out for a run knowing that should anything happen, you have the option there.

In this blog, we’ll look at some of the safety and tracking features built into Garmin watches – you will need to have your phone with you and be paired to Garmin Connect, but we always advise you to run with a phone anyway in case of emergency. Please note that not all features are available on all models, so take a look at your watch’s manual to check which you have access to or see this page to find out which wearables provide safety features: Garmin Connect App LiveTrack Feature

Incident detection

Incident detection is a built-in feature that sends a message to your chosen emergency contacts if an incident is detected. This can include a sudden drastic deceleration or an impact, so for example a hard fall or a road accident could trigger it. If the Garmin watch detects such an incident, it will send your name and location to your contacts. You will have a chance to chance to cancel the alert if it has been triggered by accident, such as if you have come to a sudden stop for a valid reason.

The option is set up via your Garmin Connect app. On an Android phone, select the double bars in the top left, and on an iPhone select More in the bottom right. From here, go to Safety & Tracking, then Safety Features. If this is your first time setting it up, you might have to hit Accept to use Incident Detection. Now, you need to add in your details under My Information, which is what will be shared with your contacts. Then, add in your Emergency Contacts – you can add up to three. You will be prompted to select from your phone contacts or create a new contact, and you will need to add phone and/or email information that can be used in an emergency. You will then need to Send Request, which they will need to respond to to confirm that they opt in to receiving messages or emails from Garmin for the Incident Detection feature.

Incident Detection and Assistance will now be Enabled, and will work on all supported activities. If an activity you choose isn’t supported, you will be warned before you start the activity, but Run activities are covered.

TIP: You can also call for assistance if you need it, without an incident being detected. Check your watch manual for how to do this on your model. It will usually involve holding down a specific button for a set amount of time, which will send a discreet message to your emergency contacts giving your location data. You will need to be paired to your phone and have signal.


If you followed the steps above, you might have spotted an option called LiveTrack in the Safety & Tracking menu on Garmin Connect. This is another really helpful safety feature that you can activate; if it isn’t turned on already, you will have to Agree to the terms when you first enter this screen.

Next, you will need to go to the three dots in the top right and choose Settings to set up LiveTrack. Then first option is Email; if you turn this on, you will be able to add your Recipients’ email addresses (up to 50). When you opt to start a LiveTrack, an email link will be sent to your chosen email addresses, which can be clicked to follow your live run. This is handy to send to a partner, family member or friend, for example, so that they have the option to check where you are on your run.

This is useful if you were to get lost or if you didn’t arrive home when expected for any reason. You can also opt to Tweet your live location, which isn’t advisable on a normal training run from home, however you might want to use this feature so that people can track you during a race, for example.

When you’re ready to run, you can hit the Start LiveTrack button under your device name to begin sharing your location. You can then Stop it at any time. When you start a LiveTrack session, this will also flash up as a notification on your Garmin watch, and again when you stop it. Your contacts will get an email to say that the LiveTrack has been ended, and your location is no longer being shared. You will need to have a good GPS signal to start sharing your location. If you lose phone signal, LiveTrack may not have your current location, but it will show your last known location until you have signal again.


TIP: For some watch models, there is also a Live Event Sharing option within the same Safety & Tracking menu. This is designed for big races or events and enables you to share your progress via text message, with your current mileage, time and pace. This will only send a message when you hit a milestone, and you can customise what the message says and when it sends. This can be combined with LiveTrack so people can see where you are at any time between message alerts. 

We hope that this has been helpful to give you an overview of the safety features you have available on your Garmin watch. If you feel like it’s time for an upgrade, browse all the latest running smartwatches here: https://www.garmin.com/en-GB/c/sports-fitness/running-smartwatches/

*This blog has been written by the Run Mummy Run team as part of a paid partnership with our Family Partner Garmin

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