Track Talk #8: F-M and Stotan Racing Coach Bill Aris

The Head Coach of National Prep Powerhouse Fayetteville-Manlius Joins LetsRun on Monday, April 12, 2010

April 9, 2010

The 8th edition of's audio series Training Talk will take place Monday, April 12 at 8pm eastern with featured guest Bill Aris. Aris took over the head coaching reins at suburban Syracuse high school Fayetteville-Manlius in 2004 and has led both the boys and girls cross-country teams to remarkably consistent national success. Along with son John Aris as his assistant, Bill's boys cross-country teams, running under the moniker "Stotan XC", finished 2nd at Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) in 2004 and 3rd in 2005. Starting in 2006, the F-M girls took over the limelight and have now won 4 consecutive NXN titles.

Using the term "Stotan" originally coined by legendary Australian distance running coach Percy Cerutty, Aris started a Nike-sponsored post-collegiate training group in the Syracuse area called Stotan Racing. (Read more about Cerutty at his Wikipedia page)

Aris will be a fascinating guest as he has calls himself a "true student of the sport of running in all parts" who has read everything about running that he could get his hands on and prides himself on constantly adapting the training of his teams. While the basis of his training philosophy is the high-mileage, aerobic, strength approach advocated by running guru Arthur Lydiard, Aris once responded to a question about his key training principles by saying, "Key training principles … hmmm … How about unorthodox, original, outside the box, creative?"

This episode of Training Talk will surely go beyond specific running or strength workouts. Aris says workouts are only a piece to his coaching philosophy, "In a word, our prime focus is team synergy. Without it, all the physical work in the world would amount to little. As I said above, the physical preparation is only one part of our approach. What development occurs inside the heart and mind is of far greater significance in our belief system." (all quotes above come from this DyeStat interview with Aris)

On Monday, tune in to find out how Aris and F-M, who do not have huge teams of runners, have managed to win the national girls cross country title for 4 years running. In 2009, Manlius XC scored 74 at NXN, finishing 73 points ahead of 2nd-place. After the race, Manlius team member Courtney Chapman said of the team's attitude that led to a 1k split score of Manlius 61, 2nd-place Saratoga 255, "We wanted to make a statement today. We wanted to show everyone we can do this again.  We’re not going to be a champion that gets complacent.” ('09 NXN recap here)

If you have a question for Aris, please email them to us. Include your first name and hometown as we will announce you on air.

If you want to participate in the call by calling in or chatting a question, click here.

For background info on Bill Aris, the F-M program, John Aris or Stotan Racing, we recommend checking out:
*Running Times Piece on F-M Program
*DyeStat Interview With Bill Aris
*DyeStat Interview With John Aris
* Message Board Thread On Nike-Sponsored Stotan Racing Group
*DyeStat's 2009 NXN Recap

To listen to past editions of Training Talk, please use the player on the left or click here to be taken to a page where you can read summaries of past editions or download them to itunes.






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