I think a key lesson from Suzanne's practice is the value - at the right point in your development - of taking a risk. There's a difference between heedless struggle that makes you tired, and attempting a difficult set, one that may carry a considerable likelihood of falling short of the standard you're aiming for.
Suzanne's decision to abort the set because she miscalculated SL and effort on the first round was a brave one. I think it's better to do something you can turn into a positive experience when you wear yourself out by aiming too high. But it's good to aim high semi-regularly too.
I recall something one of my swimmers told me in the spring of 1979, when we had just completed a season in which my team improved more than any other group I'd coached in my career to that point (dating to 1972). This was my first year coaching this team, in Richmond VA. The best swimmer on the team, who had just won the 100 and 200 Fly in record time at US Junior Nationals (ages 18 and under) and been part of a winning medley relay, told me that the most valuable part of our training was "You regularly ask me to do something I wasn't sure I could do."
Suzanne's matrix set should be a good step-up challenge for anyone who has never attempted this kind of set before. It includes two key challenges
1) Descend times for 3 to 4 100s, without changing stroke count.
2) Choose - then choose to change - your stroke count.
She attempted a matrix of 4 x 4, and fell short. Her suggestion of trying perhaps 3 x 3 on your first go is a good one.
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist
May your laps be as happy as mine.
My TI Story