Whatever you train for, whatever goal you have, whatever your interest is, there is one key to success. Recovery. You can bust your butt in the gym, lifting heavy weight, rep after rep, or get on the track and run sprint after sprint, but the key to progress is recovery.
When I write workout programs, I start with the finish product, the goal, then fill in the days of recovery working backwards. You don't get stronger lifting weights, you get stronger recovering from the lifting weights.
Stimulate, don't annihilate, recover. Repeat.
Here are the keys to Recovery.
1. Sleep. Get 7-9 hours of it every night.
2. Nap, when you can.
3. Post workout meal (get some carbs/protein 4-1 ratio) If you're trying to lose weight, cut some carbs)
4. Pre workout meal. A little bit of protein.
5. Stay hydrated. Drink more water, then drink some more.
6. Lot of fruits and vegetables. What's a lot. More then you're eating now.
7. Foam roll. Everything but the low back and neck. Spend at least 8 minutes a day.
8. Quality soft tissue work. Pay for it, or eventually hurt.
9. Supplement (extra whey protein, creatine, rhodiola rosea, multi vitamin, zma)
10. Compression. I am testing some compression socks this week. But we had a lot of bobsledders use recovery tights and like them. I have had a few runners in the past month say they work.
This doesn't really talk about meditation or breathing. While both these things can be of great benefit, I don't really have a great grasp or practice with them, so don't feel very qualified to talk about them. But a few yoga practitioners I know, swear that breathing helps recovery.
Implement these ten things and it will help maximize your recovery, which in turn, maximizes your training. Reach your goal.