Thanks for contacting us and congratulations on what sounds like a pretty successful application of our book to build yourself a plan and reap the rewards in good trip to Peru.
Have you read this: https://uphillathlete.com/capacity-training-vs-utilization-training/?
This will help you understand what happened during your trip. You might want to also click on and read the posts under the Capacity vs Utilization heading over to the right in the forum index. Here is the deal in a nutshell: During your training you were building/increasing the capacity to do more work. Since you principally focused on basic aerobic work capacity that quality improved and it sounds like you nailed that part well. Your aerobic capacity bank balance was high. When you embark on a trip like you were on with several almost back to back objectives with only short breaks there is no time to build capacity during the trip as you found out. All you can do between ‘events’ is recover. You were withdrawing from your overall capacity bank account on each climb you did. Because the aerobic bank account was really big you didn’t overdraw that one and felt aerobically fit the whole time. However, your strength/ME capacity account balance was insufficient so you were overdrawn on that account early in the trip as you had to maximally utilize the ME quality on all these climbs as well. You went way into the red zone in the ME department which is why your legs were so worked at the end.
What can you do about it? During the base building period: Increase the capacity bank account in all the qualities that make up your event so that when you go on the next trip you have adequate capacity to go on a wild spending spree during the trip and not get overdrawn. You can not build capacity and utilize it at the same time so if you go on the trip with inadequate capacity you are hosed from the get go. IF and only if you have a substantial break (2-3 weeks) from climbing during your trip could you return to a capacity building period. As you found out; you were too wasted to train during the short breaks between your climbs to even consider any capacity building training. Recall that the way you build capacity is by slightly exceeding your current capacity on a nearly daily basis which over weeks improves that capacity but also induces a fair bit of fatigue. Had you tried to do this during your short breaks, your trip would have been shorter and much less successful.
I repeat: YOU CAN NOT BUILD AND UTILIZE CAPACITY AT THE SAME TIME. This is the purpose of the base period and why we use periods for our training.
The next cycle through your program you will be significantly fitter and able to handle more work so I suggest you incorporate ME workouts into the final phase of your preparations