I think it's a trickier question than it sounds. I know McMillan advocates a ''running on empty'' approach to promote better fat burning but I personally get a bit scared of trying it out. If you 'bonk' during a long run, apart from the fact that it's an uncomfortable experience, the loss of energy can't help with your training in general. So I understand the theory but I think it's a balancing act between promoting fat burning and at least being able to successfully complete the long runs which will promote the necessary endurance fitness.
I tend to take the approach of taking on enough fuel to get through the runs without wilting. That generally means no more than 500ml Lucozade Sport for 20 - 23 miles, although depending on time on feet others might need more. Anything up to 2 hours I'll just make sure I'm topped up and well hydrated before I go out, or possibly drink water along the way if it's warm. I generally save the gels for the dress-rehearsal runs/preparatory 20 mile race a few weeks before.
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