Ato Boldon speaks to 110m hurdles legend Allen Johnson for IAAF Inside Athletics. Watch the exclusive episode to find out about Johnson's extraordinary career, and what makes good hurdlers great.

Allen Johnson began to have an impact on the international athletics scene in 1994, and was still winning world medals in 2008, at the age of 37. He is adamant that he couldn’t have done it any other way.

“I definitely stayed around too long, that was always my plan from day one to stay around too long. I didn’t want to leave a minute too early, just in case there was still something in there.

“It’s like going outside to play and I loved it, there was nothing else in the world that I’d rather be doing. So I stuck around until they dragged me off the track.”

The longevity of his career has been far from average, running sub-13 even in his mid-thirties. Johnson thinks the reason behind it is his unusual approach of not just sticking to the sprint hurdles, but mixing up his events (his high jump PB is 2.11m!).

Allen Johnson and Liu Xiang 60m Hurdles Valencia 2008 ()

Johnson on his way to his last international medal in 2008, 13 years after winning his first world title.

“I think the thing that helped me to stay around for a long time was – besides the fact that I was having a great time whilst doing it – that I always made sure that I was able to run an event like the 400 metres and I think they gave me a lot of extra in the tank.

“I would run the 4x1, I’d run the 4x4, I’d run the 200, so I think that really helped me so that later on in my career, when I actually started to slow down, my capacity for work started to diminish.”

Despite his successes, Johnson’s biggest regret of his career is never to have set a world record, unlike fellow American Aries Merritt, who stormed to a record breaking 12.80 in 2012.

“The hardest thing in the hurdles and in trying to run fast is being too close to the hurdles,” says Johnson.

“The thing that enabled Aries to run that fast was the fact that because he took seven steps [to the first hurdle], he was able to take off far enough from the first hurdle, which meant each subsequent hurdle, even if his take-off point got closer as he got later in the race than that first hurdle, he was still far enough away that he could continue to carry his momentum through the hurdle.”

You can watch the full 12 minute episode of IAAF Inside Athletics below: