Training on hills has lots of benefits for runners, such as strength, speed, and confidence building. But some runners who live in very flat areas get concerned about their lack of hill training, especially if they're running a race with lots of elevation changes. Running hills in the winter can also be a challenge when the conditions are snowy and icy. Here are some alternatives to outdoor hill running that give you almost the same bang for your buck:
Treadmills: While some runners despise the treadmill, you can get a decent hill workout on a treadmill. You can also customize it for your needs by creating a hill workout with the exact distances and inclines you want to practice. The biggest disadvantage of course is that you can't simulate downhill running.
Stair workouts: Whether you run stairs at a local stadium or in your office or apartment building, stairs can be a good substitute for hills. The idea with running stairs is to do it the same way you would hill repeats. Push yourself going up the stairs and then recover at an easy pace on the way down. Beginners will want to start with one step at a time but, as your fitness and agility improves, you can go for two at a time.
Parking garages: Some runners run the inclines in parking garage towers during times when they're mostly empty. This may be a good workout to do with your running club or running buddies, since some runners may not want to run by themselves in a parking garage. See if you can find one with security guards for added safety.
Do you have any other alternatives for hill running?