It’s interesting: I can’t tell if the title of this article is what I read (“Want to Go Faster? You Need a Trainer”) or what the link says (“Proper Training Is a Critical Element to Athletic Success“). In my experience, you don’t need a trainer to get faster as a runner (or likely any other sport). However, you do need to properly train.
Training properly doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does help to get some guidance. It doesn’t have to be a trainer, though. For example, if you want to become a better runner, you can ask friends who run seriously for help. You can do research on the web. You can join a running group. You can even ask me. :)
All these things can help you go faster. As the article in the NYTimes.com says:
If your goal is to be faster, you have to train.”
It’s as simple as that. And yes, you can get a trainer as well. Just don’t believe that the only way you can get fast is by getting one.