School: Andrews Osbourne Academy/SPIRE Academy, Geneva, OH
HS Class: 2013
- 100 Meter Dash 11.73
- 200 Meter Dash 22.18
- 300 Meter Dash 36.27
- 3,200 Meter Run 12:13.00
- 400 Meter Dash 47.97
- 5,000 Meter Run 19:46.00
- 500 Meter Dash 1:04.69
- 55 Meter Dash 6.94
- Long Jump 16-0.5
Theodore Foster currently has Ohio’s and the Nation’ leading scholastic indoor 400m time of 47.97. In August he decided to make a move from Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, NJ, where he was the NJSIAA 1, 4 & NPA Group State Champion in the 400, running 49.31, to the Andrews Osbourne Academy (AOA) in Willoughby. AOA has academically partnered with the SPIRE Institute, forming Spire Academy. Spire Academy launched last fall as a coed, boarding and day school for grades 9-12 that incorporates a full-time, residential athletic training program for its’ student athletes. OHRunners, had the opportunity to interview Ted and to discuss the reasons for his move, his schooling, training and the coaching he recieves as a Spire Athlete.
OHRunners: Welcome to Ohio Theodore. You currently have Ohio’s and the Nation’ leading scholastic indoor 400m time of 47.97. Until June of last year, you attended Christian Bros Academy in Lincroft, NJ. Christian Bros. (CBA) is a private, all-boys college preparatory school that is known in NJ for having an excellent track program. You attended the school from the 9th grade through your Junior year, and last year you were the NJSIAA 1, 4 & NPA Group State Champion in the 400, running 49.31. This year you attend The Andrews Osbourne Academy (AOA) in Willoughby. AOA has academically partnered with the SPIRE Institute, forming Spire Academy, that launched last fall as a coed, boarding and day school for grades 9-12 that incorporates a full-time, residential athletic training program for its’ student athletes. When and why was the decision made to transfer schools?
Theodore: I made the decision to transfer to SPIRE Institute in the beginning of August 2012. I made the decision to transfer because I wanted to focus on improving my individual 400m race to prepare for racing at the college level. At Christian Brothers Academy, I had an incredible experience being part of three New Balance All-American relays, a Penn Relays Distance Medley Relay championship in 2011 and several successful 4x400 relays. Over the summer, I decided that in the 2013 season it would be in my best interest to focus on performing well in high-level 400m races and the SPIRE institute and Coach Charlie Powell were a great fit for my goals.
OHRunners: As a student athlete at AOA, what is a typical day for you?
Theodore: I am in class from 8:00am to 12:30pm. I then take the bus to SPIRE after school, have lunch at SPIRE FUEL, train from 2:00 to 6:00 and have dinner after my workout. SPIRE Fuel is our cafeteria. Fuel is set up just like an Olympic center dining hall.
OHRunners: Based upon your times the first few weeks of the indoor season, you are entering into the indoor season in excellent shape. After last Spring's NJ State meet, you were 4th in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in the 400 in 48.37 and 20th at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in a time of 49.17? Did you run competitively over the summer or did you take a break? What type of workouts did you do in the Fall to stay in shape for the Indoor season?
Theodore: I did not run competitively last summer. I ended my season at the 2012 New Balance Nationals. I took the month of July off and traveled around the country to visit colleges and started training again in August. My workouts vary greatly throughout the year. The year is separated into three segments: the Fall is composed mostly of strength and power workouts. When we get closer to the indoor season, we work on speed endurance. Finally, when we are nearing championship season, our workouts are focused on top-end speed development and peaking. A Monday workout in the fall would be a ladder where the interval workout starts high (500m) and ends at the same distance.
OHRunners: When did you first start running? What events did you participate in?
Theodore: I first starting running sometime around 6th or 7th grade. I ran road races and cross-country meets. I didn’t start sprinting until my freshmen year in high school.
OHRunners: What is a typical week of training for you right now? In other words, if you are racing on Saturday, what is your Monday workout, Tuesday workout, Wednesday workout, Thursday workout, Friday workout?
Theodore: A typical week with a big race on Saturday would be the following: Monday we run a speed endurance workout with intervals at around 85%-90% effort based off of our 400m race pace. Tuesday and Thursday are regeneration days at the Michael Johnson Performance Center (MJP). We are not on the track. We stretch, rollout and go through regeneration workouts designed by the MJP staff. Wednesday’s workouts are fast. We usually run 150’s at around 90-95% total effort. Friday is a pre-meet day. On race weeks, we will lift at MJP on Monday and Wednesday right after our track workout. On weeks we are not racing, we lift Monday, Wednesday, Friday and have a pool workout on Saturday. For more information on the Michael Johnson Performance Center, please see the links below.
OHRunners: What is a typical speed type of workout?
Theodore: A typical speed workout would be one or two "broken 500's.” We run a 300m interval at 400m race pace, take a two or three minute break and run a 200 at race pace or faster.
OHRunners: How do you mentally prepare for a race? Do you visualize your races?
Theodore: I try not to over think racing. I will visualize race scenarios and situations to prepare myself. At SPIRE, I am fortunate enough to have a sports psychologist, Dr. Jack Lesyk, for all of my mental preparation questions.
OHRunners: Can you break down into stages or describe how you run a 400? Start, 1st 100, 2nd 100, 3rd 100 and finish? Do you have particular race strategies? What are your strategies based upon?
Theodore: Every race is a little different and I am still figuring out what works best for me. In most races, the first 100 is about getting out of blocks as quickly as possible, accelerating for the first 50-60 meters and then settling in. In the second hundred, I try to stay relaxed and use as little energy as possible while still running fast. The beginning of the third hundred I start my kick and carry it through the finish. I am more of a strength 400m runner. I am still developing my speed and the second half of my 400 is usually where I am the strongest.
OHRunners: Why do you like running the 400?
Theodore: I enjoy racing in general and the 400 is just where I have found the most success. I started out my freshmen year of high school running cross country and as the indoor track season started it started to become clear that I was better suited for the 400. There is nothing better than racing and crossing the finish line knowing that you gave the race everything you had that day.
OHRunners: I do not believe AOA is an OHSAA member? Who will you be competing for indoors and outdoors?
Theodore: I run as an unattached athlete. I compete in invitational races around the country. The rest of my indoor season will consist of a 400m at the SPIRE High School Showcase after our Division One Invitational this weekend, the Brooks PR on the 23rd, and New Balance Nationals in March.
(editor's note: Ted is not eligible to run at the OATCCC state meet or in any OHSAA tournament meet, he is eligible to compete at any meet throughout the regular season in Ohio)
OHRunners: Who is coaching you at this time?
Theodore: Charlie Powell and Bryan McCall of MJP.
Charlie Powell, the long time University of Pennsylvania coach's bio can be found here - http://www.spireinstitute.org/training/track-and-field
Here is a link to Bryan McCall's bio - http://www.spireinstitute.org/training/michael-johnson-performance-center/director-bio
OHRunners: How would you describe yourself as an athlete?
Theodore: I am a determined and focused athlete. I let nothing interfere with my goals on the track.
OHRunners: What are you goals for the indoor season? For the outdoor season?
Theodore: My goal for the 2013 season is to develop into a consistent and successful 400m athlete. I have no strict time or championship goals. I train hard and then race to see what I am capable of running.
OHRunners: Thanks Theodore. We appreciate your time and wish you success the remainder of the indoor and outdoor seasons.