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Getting sport nutrition geeky

It's barely into the off-season and I'm already getting itchy to get back out there and start training. People are starting to talk about their spring race...I'm still trying to decide which Half to do. But let's be honest, the season for IS the fall race. So I'm looking forward to Chicago 2012. I'd say the chances of me staying at my home race are pretty good. I'm still throwing around other ideas, but with the kids and trying to PR it just seems like the logistics and consistency of Race Day are better served by the "known." Everybody knows what L stops to see me at, I can get downtown and to Grant Park easily.

Anyway, the beauty of the sport is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you'd like. It's just a pair of running shoes (maybe not even that these days) and you. But as you learn more about your performance, the sport, and what you're trying to achieve you can start to tinker.

And for a geek like me, nutrition is both the foundation and the unknown. Up to now I've gone with the usual-for-the-sport gels and Gatorade and carb-loading and called it a day.The better I know myself, the more I'm starting to rethink my entire Race Day agenda though.

When you actually do the nuts and bolts of what the human body needs to run 26.2 miles it is mind-blowingly simple...water, salt, and about 3000 calories from carbs. Stir and enjoy! The question is where that all should come from and the pacing you should use to ingest.

My plan right now is this:
--Fortified water...essentially a flavored, no-sugar electrolyte beverage
--Salt tabs...up to now I've relied on sports drink but that contains sugar
--An enigmatic bar that contains my calories/carbs...hopefully something natural, not syrupy, easy to digest yet flavorful to satisfy your hunger when you're skipping eating for hours

I *think* I have some candidates for the energy bar.