The Case For Glycogen-Loaded Long Runs
During a marathon training cycle, you have a finite number of workouts and long runs from which you can gain fitness. Therefore, it is important to maximize each opportunity to make progress. Completing long runs in a glycogen loaded state increases the chance that you will be able to complete the run to the best of your ability, improving the overall quality of your long run.
Furthermore, carbohydrate intake before a long run aids post run recovery by reducing muscle fatigue and overall damage to the muscle fibers. Likewise, glycogen loading prior to the long run provides the muscles with essential nutrients that promote the restoration of glycogen for subsequent sessions, improving the consistency of your training.
Finally, practicing fluid and nutrient intake during your hard training sessions is essential for race day success. Not only do you need to practice the skill of drinking from a cup while running fast, but you need to train your stomach to handle liquids and gels without getting upset.