Cycle Wheels of "Maddy Black"

Q1: Hello, who are you and what sports/fitness routine do you play?

My name is Maddy Black, I am a personal trainer and cyclist in Abu Dhabi. I have played competitive sports my entire life, starting with 10 years of gymnastics. This set me up well for a wide range of sports, and led me into the world of CrossFit, where I then transitioned into Olympic Weightlifting. Through weightlifting I reached my lifetime goal of representing my country, Australia. I then moved to the UAE 3 years ago for an opportunity to coach CrossFit, and like many people Corona lockdowns forced me out of the gym and into the outdoors. This is where the cycling journey began. Now I compete in professional races around the UAE and focus all of my time and energy into the sport of cycling. 


How do you get ready to train for your sport/how do you train?

Right now, my training schedule is 6 days / week of cycling, 5 days / week of light jogging, and 2 days / week of strength work in the gym. A typical week looks like this:


30 min jog (for active recovery / zone 2 heart rate training)

30 min lower body strength in the gym

2 hrs. cycling 


90 min - 2 hrs. cycling

30 min jog


30 min jog

30 min upper body strength in the gym

2 hrs. cycling 


90 min - 2 hrs. cycling

30 min jog


30 min jog


3 hrs. cycling - hard ride


1-2 hrs. cycling - recovery

It may seem like a large volume of training, however it must be noted that alot of my training is at a recovery pace to get the blood flowing through my body and prepare myself for the next hard session. The strength sessions in the gym are not just to assist in my cycling power but also for my mental health, as I simply enjoy and love being in the gym. 

I don’t ever use pre-workout supplements, however I do use caffeine (through coffee) to prepare myself mentally and physically for training. There is a lot of research to show the benefits of this, but when using caffeine to stimulate performance it is very important to consume at appropriate times so that it does not disrupt sleep and recovery. I never exceed 2 shots of coffee / day, and I always stop drinking coffee after 3pm.

After a workout/game, how do you recover your body? What do you do to get your body in shape? What type of diet do you eat? 

Sleep is the main role in recovery, 7-8 hours allows my body to recover optimally, however of course life happens and I do work full time and run a business. 2-3 days of the week, I schedule out 2 hours so that I can go home and take a long nap to catch up on some sleep that may have been lost due to waking up early for a morning ride. This contributes significantly to my recovery, mood and energy for the next training sessions. 

I get weekly massage and cryotherapy at ReSTART, Al Reem in Abu Dhabi. The therapists there are very professional at what they do and I trust them 100% to make my recovery even faster. 

After my hard training sessions, I also use a plunge pool at 321 Sports Al Hudayriat which really helps my body relax and get ready to sleep after the drive home. 

How do you prevent injuries when you’re training? What type of stretches do you normally do? What’s your routine looking like?

The best way I have learnt to prevent injuries is to listen to my body and adjust my training load if i feel something is off / not right. Warming up and cooling down is also important, however I am not always the best at this. It’s always easier said than done, and sometimes I simply just start my training without proper warm up, but that’s just reality, and even sometimes athletes are not perfect. When this happens, I do always get multiple 5 min stretching blocks throughout the day due to my job as a personal trainer, so its not such a big deal. 

This is my go-to 5-10 minute routine:

1 min pigeon each side

1 min hamstring each side

30s lower back each side

1 min hip flexor each side

1 min deep diaphragmatic breathing 

If there is someone wanting to get to your level, what type of advice would you give them?

Make sure you enjoy the process along the way. High level sport can become lonely and difficult, but if you enjoy parts of the process along the way, all the hardships and sacrifices are worth it. Discipline and consistency beats talent any day. So keep at it, even when no one is watching. 

How do you structure your day now? What projects are you busy with?

I have had a very exciting couple of months, launching my online business Sundaze Coffee. This is now my main focus alongside training myself and others. I wanted to create a brand that aligned my values of travel, and adventure with high quality coffee, and I always had a dream of owning my own business. We sell premium specialty coffee drip-bags across the UAE and hopefully soon to the rest of the world! This keeps my mind busy and gives me something to work on outside of being in the gym or on the track all the time. 

How has your journey on social media been? Future plans?

I definitely don’t use social media to its full potential for myself personally, however I do aim to inspire people to always try new sports, travel and get out of their comfort zone. My focus right now is all on my new business (@sundaze.coffee), however personally I just want to continue sharing my life, showing that it is possible to compete at a high level and also enjoy life. Balance is something that I now hold as a big value in my life, so I want to show people that is possible whilst aiming to achieve big things in all aspects of life. 

Cycling season is coming up, so hopefully it will inspire me to start posting more content on my racing experiences very soon!

Knowing what you know now, what do you wish you could tell yourself 10 years ago?

Honestly, there is nothing I regret, I wouldn’t change anything if i could go back in time. I would just tell myself all of this is going to help you later in life, just keep going. It is exactly what I did and it was all worth it in the end.

How can our audience find you online? 

Instagram: @maddyblack_ & @sundaze.coffee
www.maddyblack.com & www.sundaze-store.com 


Link to Maddy Black's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maddyblack_/

Maddy Black is a personal trainer and a cyclist in Abu Dhabi. She had a very exciting couple of months, launching her online business Sundaze Coffee. This is now her main focus alongside training herself and others. She wanted to create a brand that aligned her values of travel, and adventure with high-quality coffee, and she always had a dream of owning a business.