Naturally, it's going to take more than 6 weeks to prove that base training is working for me - by the end of my 11 week pre-schedule...schedule, I should have enough sporttracks data to show an overall trend in my pace constituting in my superior aerobic capabilities.
There's a rather fascinating thread over in runnersworld right now called "The Middle Ground" (of which I'm a regular contributor), in which we're discussing various aspects of training and workouts. I admit to spending much more time on it than I should be - having said that, I've gained a massive amount of knowledge from a number of very experienced and informed forum members, which I plan to implement into my various schedules.
I'm also a contributor on Fetcheveryone's thread about Hadd's distance running approach (which I'm following at this current time). While I won't go into the specifics here, some people have commented on what I'm achieving purely off of my aerobic capacity - I've only been running seriously for 15 months and I'm targeting a 41:00 10k purely off of base training on May 25th.
I really don't know what I could do in the future. While I'm hardly expecting to raise myself to Steve Way/Marigold levels, I really think that I could post some respectable times at a regional level.
One of the key things I've learnt from "The Middle Ground" recently is to stop the habit of putting a goal time on a key race - it tends to give you a mental block when you're hitting the pace times in an interval session - why settle for a lesser time when you really could go faster if you'd just tried to keep improving?
I blogged a few days ago about targeting a 40:00 10k in August. I've now decided to forget about that time, and see what happens. A 40:00 10k time is difficult, more difficult than a 1:30 HM or a 19:00 5k personally (he says, making it sound so simple!). While a 5k needs a high VO2 max, and a HM requiring high LT and pure endurance, a 10k really requires BOTH of these and quite a few people tend to forsake one of these.
So I'm just going to see where the chips fall. After ignoring my anaerobic engine for almost 2 months now, I reckon I'll be able to improve quite well in my 10-week mesosycle before the Forfar 10k. Given the amount of 10k interval sessions I plan to do, I should be able to peak either the week or the week before the race. Add that in with a 10M race I'm doing 3 weeks before, and I should be in great shape.
So the 10k pace will be run by feel. Can I keep the pace I'm currently running at for 6.2 miles? Yes, I can. Ooh, look, 6:25/mile. Raceday? Bam.
It may turn out that I'm being too ambitious and I need another 10k mesocycle to hit 40:00. It may turn out I'm not being ambitious enough and I end up with about 39:00. Regardless, the only achieved target I want to take away from my 10k races (hell, ALL my key races) is that I ran the hardest I could.
The far future? I could be sitting here in 10 years time, blogging about the 31:00 10k I just ran. Or I could be sitting here feeling pleased as I finally break 40:00. It's all about potential, and through determination, motivation, smart training, and passion, I'll reach my maximum potential. As long as I did my best.