Running a hill workout for an upcoming race that might include hills is a great idea to prepare your legs for the hills you might encounter. When you train to run hills the best way to get in 'hill shape' is intervals up a hill in an area you are familiar with. Hill training is very demanding at first because you work muscles that you wouldn't normally use when running on a flat surface but the more you run hills the easier it becomes and the more in shape your body will be to conquer the hills during the race.
Hill intervals are tough but really make a difference in your training and ability to attack the hills. Start the workout with a warm up run from anywhere from 10-15 minutes to get your body and legs loosened up. When running up hills you want to attack the hills and prepare your legs to run up the hill efficiently come race day. Find a slope to run up. It can be anywhere from 30 to 250 meters long. When running up the slope, work on attacking the hill and running at race pace. Work on getting your legs used to going up the hill and really use your quads. After you crest the hill, take three quick steps to propel you over the hill. Do not stop at the top because it will teach your body that it's okay to stop at the top of a hill. Then slowly jog back to the foot of the hill. When you’ve recovered, attack the hill again. To increase intensity of the workout, recover for shorter periods of time between running up the hill. When you are just beginning, run four or five intervals and gradually build up to three sets of five.
Another important thing to remember when running hills is that you should use your arms to work your way up the hill. Shorten your stride and work on pulling yourself up the hill with your arms. Run tall and with your back as straight as you can, and try your hardest not to lean forwards. Pump your arms and propel your way to the top. Just think about getting to the top and taking three quick steps. Once you are done taking the three quick steps, you'll already be back to running regular again on a flat surface and the quad muscles will have stopped burning from being used to run up the hill. Keep your head up and focus on the goal, the top of the hill!
Check out the video below of professional athletes Ryan Hall, Sara Hall and Mike McKeeman and how they run their hill intervals.