Guildford 10k 2023

Race Information

  • Name: Guildford 10k
  • Date: 8 October 2023
  • Distance: 10k
  • Location: Guildford, Surrey
  • Website:
  • Time: 44:32


AFinish Strong, pace correctlyYes
CSub 44No



This is my local race, the course goes down past the end of my road and I was really looking forward to it. I had been entered in it since 2021 I think, but due to COVID, the organisers going bust and other issues it hadn’t been run for several years. I ran the Reigate Half Marathon ( a few weeks earlier and my plan was to take a week off to recover from that, then do a week of faster stuff and a limited taper to the 10k. It actually took me almost 3 weeks to recover from the half, so that plan had gone out of the window and I did very little running between the events.

Instead I had done some low-impact circuit work, and also gone for long bike rides at the weekend, to try to keep some condition but make sure that my foot and knee issues would let me actually complete the race and enjoy it.


It was great being able to take a gentle 30min stroll down to the start eating a banana and drinking some water, drop my bag off and get ready with little stress. Being 10k I wasn’t too worried about fuelling myself or any logistical issues, so I felt really relaxed at the start. It was an 8am start which actually suited me well considering I normally run early morning. I had also made sure to tape my nipples this time.

The race pack had been sent out earlier so I didn’t have to worry about doing my number or anything either.

I decided to take a different approach to my last two races, and I had come across a quote in Build Your Running Body, along the lines of “it is amazing what you can achieve if you reach the half-way point strong”. The course is out and back, and slightly uphill on the way out. I decided therefore to aim to get to the half-way point at 23 minutes and then see what I could do in the second half. This would make it tough to get under 44minutes considering my 5k PB is 21:07, but maybe I would be ahead of time and the downhill could help me here. I also knew from the half-marathon that I could spend about 45min with my heart rate in the 180s which should be long enough to get me home.


They called us to the start by expected finish time and I was surprised to see how close the 44minute group was to the start. Unsurprisingly, the 10k is more accessible than the half-marathons I was used to, and so I was one of the more serious runners there. I had a gel on the start line, teed up my music (no need for podcasts or audiobooks) and got ready to go. The start of the course is the most uphill so I wasn’t too worried to be behind target in the first k and I saw my lap paces coming in line with what I wanted. I made a conscious effort in the first few k to tell myself that I was enjoying the race and feeling good and I think this positive attitude really helped. My road is about 2.2k into the race so I looked forward to running past the family. I tried to keep the HR under 180, backing off when I saw it getting a bit high. Was great thinking that it was all single digit km to go though.

I took a caffeine bullet at about 4k, I could probably have taken it earlier but I was just feeling really good so held off. I got to the turning point at 23:16, a little behind where I would ideally be, but I was feeling strong so was ready to amaze myself.

It was great coming downhill for the second half of the race. I saw the family again with 2.2k to go and inadvertently knocked over my son while giving him a high-five which gave me something else to think about. Maybe the 7th kilometer was a bit harder and I had to dig a bit deeper, but I was overtaking people and feeling positive. The tunes were good and I was talking to myself most of the way.

The last km is really downhill, and I came through as quick as I could, trying to catch the person in front. I was surprised to see the finish line come up sooner than I expected but I didn’t have much left at the end


I felt good post race, again a nice change to not be so spent. I was a bit disappointed with my time as I thought I had a 44:27 PB and so I hadn’t made it, but turns out my PB was 44:57 so I had knocked 30s off it. Caught up with the other 10.8s who were running and went for a PB rumbler and breakfast before walking back home.

Lessons for next time

  • Run the race that you have in you that day, listen to your body and be prepared to change plan
  • Get to half-way feeling strong and then see what you’ve got – makes for a much more enjoyable race even if you could maybe run a quicker time
  • 10k is a fun distance, should maybe do more of them
  • 3 weeks is probably the minimum I need between events
  • Make sure the Strava beacon thing is working correctly

A great event which I will definitely do next year, assuming they manage to put it on again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.