There are plenty of benefits to running uphill, but when you're racing don't take that incline too fast. A new study from Down Under found that pushing the pace while running uphill can hurt you over the long haul. It tires you out and ultimately slows you down. Australian researchers also found that running hard up the incline prevented folks from going hard on the downhill side — a great place to pick up speed, and possibly gain time, since gravity is pulling along.
To prevent overtiring yourself, focus on maintaining your effort rather than maintaining your pace. Shorten your stride to downshift, just like a cyclist would, when you hit the hill. Taking the hills with a little less gusto than you did on your training runs will help with energy management, which is especially important when competing in longer distances — regular, prerace hill training is the time to push yourself. Hopefully running hard up inclines prior to race day will make the hills less daunting after crossing the start line.