The whole key to the Hanson’s program (and it’s much maligned long run that maxes out at ‘only’ 16 miles) is running the day before AND the day after the long run. My results over the past 12 weeks have been pretty good, but not great. I’ve taken one day off prior to my Saturday long run, and usually average 7-8 miles for that Friday. My long run average for Saturdays has been 13 miles, and all have been at least 10. The Sunday recovery runs have averaged 8 miles (I bagged two).
So yes, I believe in running the day before a long run. I think the pace of the day before isn’t that important. It’s probably more important to run a slower recovery run the day afterwards. My Friday runs have averaged about 7:30 pace, but are also recovery workouts for my Thursday Marathon pace runs. My Sunday runs have averaged closer to 8:00 per mile.
My day off tends to be Wednesday, btwn my two S.O.S. (something of substance) runs. It used to be the day I traveled for work and spent 4-5 hours in the car. Still works for me, as my ‘old’ bones need a rest now and then…