I don’t think anyone has ever said “Man, I love doing hill repeats!”.. unless you’re a little crazy already!
Most coaches will throw a hill workout into a normal routine every so often to spice things up. What’s the purpose? Why is coach making us do this? Hills are terrible!
Actually, hills will make you a faster and more efficient runner; and not just for the obvious strength and power gains from trudging up a monster hill.
You will develop enhancements in breathing, posture, cadence, and mechanics efficiency. From horizontal propulsion you will also improve economy by reducing vertical bounce with each step.
To get the full benefits of hill running you have to pay attention to form as you are cruising up your next set of hill repeats. Developing a forward lean from the ankles and not the hips, producing good arm drive forward and back not across the chest. Keeping the chest tall to allow good oxygen uptake and promoting good running posture. Landing position, striking underneath the hips rather then reaching out for each step in front of the body.
The best runners have higher ground reactions forces and minimal ground contact time. Proper hill running encourages both of those things.
Im not saying you need to run hills every day, or even every week, but adding hill repeats to your routine will increase your efficiency as a runner. A more efficient runner is a stronger runner and has a decreased risk of injury.
So, next time your training plan calls for hills, hills, hills, make sure to enjoy the run and remember why you are doing them!