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Oh jees...
On hills. I would argue that hills are valuable, in fact its hard to avoid them on just a regular training run.

However, let me make this distinction.

Hills are not the same as REP work. I think people underestimate the intensity of REP work at mile pace even if its only 5% of weekly mileage.

As a reference.

Go out an run 15 x 400m REP work at mile pace. Then tell me how that feels. Its hard work. It hurts.

Then run 15 x 1 min hill work. Its challenging but not the same.

Part of the reasoning behind the REP work is not just effort, but training at high velocities to get used to these speeds. In addition, with REP work your body gets a high exposure to eccentric loading, which builds the mechanical strength for later interval workouts. In hill running eccentric loading is virtually non existent. Given this fact though, one would recover faster from a hill workout than a REP workout.

So I think what JD meant was that sometimes hills can function as a replacement workout for REPS, but the REPS have their own specific reason for existing.

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