For the latest episode of IAAF Inside Athletics, Ato Boldon is joined by French 110m hurdles record holder Pascal Martinot-Lagarde.

Sprint hurdler Pascal Martinot-Lagarde isn’t suited to running indoors. He is 1.90m tall and has never been lightning out of the blocks. That’s not ideal for the chaos of five barriers in 60m. Yet the Frenchman has never skipped an indoor season. Why not?

“I hate training for too long a time without competition. I love to compete and I must run!” he tells Ato Boldon.

Martinot-Lagarde has been richly rewarded. He won silver at the world indoor champs in Portland last month, which added to the silver and bronze he won in 2014 and 2012, respectively.

“I am very proud of myself,” he says. And so he should be. But it’s not just the love of competition that compells Martinot-Lagarde to compete indoors. He is acutely aware of the areas of his race he needs to work on, and the pressure cooker of indoor competition is the perfect place to work on his start.

“If I want to be very strong with the 110m hurdles I need to be good in the first part of the race, and you can work on it very well indoors,” the European indoor champion says. “If I’m not injured I need to compete to work my first part of the race, and finally to be good over 110m.”

His start, he says, is the “only one bad point” to his racing form. Improving this remains work in progress, but already Martinot-Lagarde, son to a French father and a mother from the Ivory Coast, has written his name in his country’s record books. In 2014 he ran 12.95 to the national record of Ladji Doucouré’s that had stood for nearly a decade. Having eclipsed that record, the 2010 world junior champion now wants to replicate Doucouré and claim a maiden global senior title.

“He was a star in my eyes,” Martinot-Lagarde says of Doucouré, the 2003 outdoor world champion. “I watched him like ‘wow! He’s a big champion – it’s too far for me!’

“But year after year, when I began to run 1.06m hurdles [the hurdle height at senior level], I realised that I can do something similar, and I finally beat his French record. My next objective is to have his medal. I don’t have the gold yet, not from the Olympics not from worlds. I’m working on it.”

Watch the full interview below: