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A Day in the Life of a D1 Athlete: Hunter Appleton, University of Colorado

For our next D1 runner feature we tapped New Orleans native Hunter Appleton, who was a prep standout and Gatorade Athlete of the Year his senior year at Brother Martin.  In addition to running at the collegiate level, Hunter co-founded a sock company that we're very excited to have on our shelves!


Q. What time do you typically wake up?

Normally I wake up at about 7 or 8, but this depends a lot on what my class schedule for the day is like. 

Q. What is the first thing you do in the morning?

Normally, a 30-35 minute shakeout run! 

Q. What do you put in your body first, hydration or nutirion?

Normally I just grab a quick shot of espresso and a handful of cereal then I'm out the door. I try to stay hydrated overnight. 

Q. What's for breakfast?

Pretty much everyday it's a bagel with creamcheese, 2 fried eggs + some fruit.

Q. How many times do you work out on a non-race day?

I generally run twice a day 4-5 times per week during full training.

Q. How often are you in the gym or doing PT?

Normally, twice per week.

Q. What's your favorite event?

I think my favorite event is the 3k, but honestly this sways a lot. I love racing 8k cross country, too!

Q. How many meals/what time do you eat? What's typical (be honest)?

I normally eat around my training schedule but I get in 3 meals pretty normally. I just try to mix in some fruits and veggies but I don't worry too much about following a strict diet other than that- I just try to make sure I'm eating enough to keep up with my training. 

Q. Do you ever "carb load"? If so, why? For what type of race/meet situation?"

I haven't carbo-loaded intentionally yet because all of my races are <10k, but I normally eat a whole bunch of pasta the night before the race because I know it sits well for me and doesn't irritate my stomach or anything.

Q. What's your daily training shoe?

Nike Infiniti React 

Q. What's your racing shoe for XC/Road/Track?

Nike Dragonfly for Track and XC, and the Vaporfly Next % on the roads. 

Q. What's your MPW in-season versus out-of-season?

I run about 100mpw during the early season phases and hopefully into the middle of the season, but I try not to worry about it a whole lot once we're in racing phase. I think I was doing about 60-80 per week at the end of this year with conference, regionals, and Nationals. 


Q. Do you take a recovery period after races? After championship races? Between seasons?

After a normal regular season race I just try to take it easy for a few days to get myself feeling good again. After the season, I try to just get my mind off running for a bit and take about 2 weeks to myself. I might do some 30 minute jogs the second week, but I sometimes like just 2 weeks of nothing to fully recover. 

 Q. Do you nap?

Whenever I can I love to,  but I'm a very bad day-time sleeeper unfortunately.

Q. How many hours of sleep do you routinely get at night?

7-8 hours is pretty typical for me.

Q. Do you cross-train or participate in any other athletics? Did you as a kid?

I don't currently cross-train very much, but I played football and swam when I was younger in addition to running. 

Q.Why do you run?

I really love the adrenaline-filled feeling after a hard race/workout of knowing you just did something truly all-out. I also really enjoy the act of just easy running itself with friends, so I think it makes everyday more enjoyable! 

Q.What's your pre-race meal of choice for the night before and pre-race nutrition?

Night before: Pasta!

Day of: Normally just bagels and simple carbohydrates because I really struggle with side-stitches if I do anything else. 

Q. What do you eat after a big race? After a hard workout?

Honestly, whatever sounds good at the time depending on where we are! I love Chipotle after a hard-workout, though.

Q. Do you have any pre-race rituals that you don't diverge from — i.e., socks, stretch, hair, favorite song, etc?

Espresso. I haven't raced without it since 2019.

Q. What's your major?

Evolutionary Biology



Q. What events should we be looking for you to race during indoor season this year?

I will be racing most likely a 3k at the Colorado Invitational 01/27, a 5k at the Husky Classic 02/10, and either a 3k or 5k @ the Ken Shannon Last Chance Invite on 02/24. 


Q. Do you plan to keep competing post-collegiately?

I do, I would really love to focus on road races and shorter distances I haven't really been able to focus on yet. I'd like to run the Crescent City Classic, but also the marathon is enticing so honestly I'm not sure which direction I will go yet.

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