Athlete Interviews: Sonya Looney – MTB World Champion

Sonya Looney is a 24-Hour Solo World Champion, multi-time National Champion and legend in the ultra-endurance and stage racing MTB scene. She joined us at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo to share what she does to train, prepare and execute at a world-class level. Tune in, get faster, and follow Sonya’s racing on her social channels @sonyalooney and through her podcast, The Sonya Looney Show.


Youtube Live Video:


Topics covered in this episode

  • Sonya Looney’s background
  • Where Sonya won her 24 Hour World Champion title
  • When to start eating solid food during a 24 hour race
  • Sonya’s tire choice for 24 HOP
  • Managing Lights for 24 hour races
  • A consistent pacing strategy for 24 hour racing
  • How and where should people be to aid the riders
  • Checkboxes for a team going into a 24 hour race
  • What does Sonya do when she finishes her lap
  • Hydration and nutrition on the bike
  • Pacing using your power meter
  • What to do leading up to a 24 hour race
  • Tips on Stage Racing from Sonya
  • How to recon for a stage race
  • How to adapt to heat during your training
  • How to deal with a bad day during a stage race
  • Strategies for picking a team mate
  • Advice from a pro to a joe about 24 hour racing
  • How winning the World Champs felt

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Interesting episode - thanks, team!

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Sonya has lots of amazing information to share! Glad you liked it!

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Living proof that Pop-Tarts are prime fuel for endurance rides :stuck_out_tongue:

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Another amazing guest! I would love to see her become a regular along with Amber :wink:

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Thank you!

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Just started listening today. This is extra awesome because we share a first name (mine has the German spelling); she was also at 24HOP and I hopefully will be able to use some of her advice on my next 24 hour adventure. I probably have a ton of questions when I am done listening…

Oh, and I love the fact that Sonya considers pop tarts “non-sweet” stuff. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I am planning on including them (or something like pop tarts) on my next fueling plan.

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while I don’t think he’s a TR user, it would have been cool to get her teammate Gordon on with her. He’s a super funny guy with an absolute wealth of knowledge about ultra endurance/stage racing. He’s also a “local” around my area, so I see him fairly often. We had a local underground gravel race the Sunday before 24 HOP. Gordon, Jeremiah Bishop and Brian Lewis all showed up and made it look easy.

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Yeah!! Me too :smiley:

Let me know if you have any questions! Happy to help :smile:

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I haven’t listened yet but I will now. I’ve been preaching Pop Tarts forever now!

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About to listen to this episode but wanted to say I enjoy your podcasts as well. I’m a plant powered cyclist so I like hearing more about being an endurance athlete and eating plant based. Made the change a little over a year ago and it has been awesome.

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Hi Sonya,

Great podcast! Made me go check out your podcasts which I have been enjoying as well.

I am not vegan but have been vegetarian for probably 10 years. My motivation had more to do with ethics (in my view) than health or performance. In fact, I’ve always thought (perhaps mistakenly) that being a vegetarian was at least a minor obstacle to performance, so I always find it inspiring to hear of world-class athletes adhering to plant-based diet.

Not sure that actually have a question, but did want to say thank you for being vocal about this topic and an inspiration to others!

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Thanks for the great episode and podcast!
Makes me want to get a mountain bike :slight_smile:

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Note @SonyaLooney has her own amazing podcast here.

Its at least as good as the TR pod. Not as gear/tech/industry focused, and your get the perspective of a top-notch pro. She has great interviews with world class riders and I enjoy the motivational aspects of her pod and thinking. Very inspiring. She’s also not selling anything so the conversation feels very authentic.

Thanks Sonya!

JB

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Terrific podcast, as usual. Thank you @SonyaLooney! Do you have a specific recommendation for a flask you use for gels?

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Thank you so much!!! :smiley:

Hey! This is the one I use: https://shop.guenergy.com/products/gu-energy-flask

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You should! In my opinion, it’s the most fun!

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