If you're not running hills, you need to be. To maximize a hill running workout, there are a few things you can do. So often as runners, we settle into a routine (rut) of running from our front door on 2 or 3 different courses leading back to our front door. Spice it up! Hill running is something you need to infuse into your running regimen....
Do it on a real hill
My first tip is that hill running should be done off road. We're trying to mix it up, right? Well, off road running can help you develop agility, balance, and a skill called being “sure-footed” (Knowing where to put your feet—it's a term commonly used with animals. Example: deer and goats are sure-footed. Horses and burros are less sure-footed and will skid and stumble far more often.)
Plus, running a hill of dirt and rock will be softer on your joints and bones. With the extra exertion a hill requires, don't give your body the extra punishment. The purpose of hill running is to work out the muscles, not the knees and ankles.
Form over function
Next, to maximize a hill running workout run in short, explosive steps. Like yoga or pilates focuses on form over reps, so to should hill running. A hill running workout is not about a great time (if it is than do more reps or add ankle weights), it's about cross training for the sought-after short burst of explosive speed.
No matter which kind of running you do, or even which sport you do, this is something every athlete needs. Think of a sprinter ejecting from the starting blocks with each step you take. Often you need smaller steps to keep from walking up the hill anyway. Short steps are practical and better for training.
Also, just like other running routines, hill running workouts can get monotonous if you don't vary them. In your hill running repertoire, you should have 3 types of hills: