I made a commitment not too long ago to do more training runs on hills, and in fact to do some interval training on hills, but I have largely failed to follow through. Some of that has been due to a series of races I registered for, and some of it has simply been that I sort of have a routine in which I do a day of speed work a day of tempo work, and mostly recovery, mid, and long runs otherwise.
So, I've been thinking about the easiest ways I can increase the amount of running I do on hills without cutting into my aerobic base training too deeply, and here's what I've come up with. Perhaps some of these ideas will be useful to someone else out there as well.
1) Hill sprints - add a series of 15-20 second uphill sprints to the end of a run, with long recovery intervals when there is a suitable hill nearby; can consider doing this more plyometrically, by bounding.
2) Hill repeats - find a longer hill of moderate gradient and run it hard for timed interval periods, jogging back down for a long recovery interval between; can do some of these as bounding intervals.
3) Hillier routes - findy hillier routes to do my mid distance runs on. My long runs already do not shy away from including some hills, but shorter/faster runs with hills will better simulate a race and require a higher effort overall; can Fartlek some of the hills (hehe, Fartlek).
Doing Hill Sprints at least once/week, and then alternating between Hill Repeats and running one Hilly Route (mid distance) each week, with Fartlek (hehe) intervals up some of the hills, I think I can reap some benefits from hill work pretty efficiently.
Right now, I have plenty of time to think about this, because it will be at least a week before I begin to get back into something like a more standard training schedule, now that my knee is recovering.